CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

Human fertilization process discovered

08-22-2011 15:25 BJT

BEIJING, Aug. 22 (Xinhuanet) -- Researchers have discovered how a human egg captures an incoming sperm for fertilization, paving the way to help couples suffering from infertility, according to media reports on Monday.

An international team of researchers found that a sugar chain known as the sialyl-lewis-x sequence (SLeX) makes the outer coat of the egg “sticky,” which has proven to be helpful in binding the egg and the sperm.

As a result, this observation has filled in a huge gap in the understanding of fertility and provides hope for ultimately helping couples who currently cannot conceive.

Scientists and doctors know that a sperm identifies an egg when proteins on the head of the sperm match and bind to a series of specific sugars in the egg’s outer coating. With a successful match of proteins, the outside surfaces of the sperm and egg then bind together before merging, which is then followed by delivery of sperm’s DNA into egg.

To identify this molecules, the researchers used ultra-sensitive mass-spectrometric imaging technology to observe and identify which molecules are most likely to be key in the binding process.

They experimented with a range of synthesised sugars in the laboratory and found that it is SLeX that specifically binds sperm to an egg.

According to the World Health Organisation, infertility affects about 15 percent of reproductive-aged couples around the world and almost one in every seven couples in Britain has problems conceiving a child for various reasons.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program