Altruistic Sperm: Mouse gametes team up to power one winner

2:34pm, July 10, 2002

Imagine sperm cooperating by the thousands in the great race to an egg–even though only one teammate gets the prize. Researchers now report such teamwork for the first time in a placental mammal.

The sperm of the European wood mouse, Apodemus sylvaticus, hook together in long, thick trains that can double an individual's speed, say Harry Moore of the University of Sheffield in England and his colleagues in the July 11 Nature.

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