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Sperm can count
Date:3/7/2012

to the time derivative of the calcium concentration and the absolute concentration was of little relevance. To put it simply: sperm can count! Exactly how they do this is unclear. The caesar scientists suspect that sperm bind calcium ions with the help of two proteins and in thereby create a "chemical derivative", so to speak.

But why do sperm carry out this complicated kind of calculation that we first encounter at upper secondary school level? The concentration of the attractants and, therefore also, the calcium concentration in the sperm is very high near the egg. The mathematical trick probably enables the sperm to be able to react even in the presence of such high calcium concentrations.

Apart from calcium, many other messenger substances control cell functions. Is it possible, therefore, that cells also carry out complex chemical calculations involving other messenger substances? The Bonn scientists would like to investigate this important question next.


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Contact: Luis Alvarez, Ph.D.
luis.alvarez@caesar.de
49-228-965-6354
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert

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