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Conditions Really Get Sperm Moving: Findings Could Lead to New Treatments,  Feb 4, 2010

Researchers have now figured out the precise chemical switch that turns on the sperm's motors, which could lead to the development of new treatments for infertility.

Scientists have long known that sperm's activity level depends on the internal pH of the sperm cell — a measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is. They start out with acidic insides when in the male reproductive tract, but once they enter the female tract, their internal environment becomes alkaline and off they zoom toward the egg.

That pH change occurs because the sperm release protons (acids are compounds that will donate a hydrogen ion — also known as a proton — to another compounds, called a base). Read more.


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