Researchers identify proton channel that helps regulate frantic dash
Fancy goggles, a swimming cap or the latest high-tech suit won’t help human sperm power through their race to fertilize an egg. Instead, the tiny cells rely on a proton-shedding pore to speed toward their target, a study in the Feb. 5 Cell finds.
The study also reports that a compound similar to the active ingredient in marijuana might interfere with this channel, offering a molecular link between habitual marijuana use and male infertility. Finding other compounds that open or close the channel may offer new ways to control reproduction, the authors say.