Scientists Finally Discover How Eggs Attract Sperm That Could Lead to New Type of Birth Control
Apr 18, 2014 10:45
Scientists at Cambridge have figured out the mechanism involving the sperm bonding to eggs. This discovery could lead to a whole different kind of non-hormonal birth control options.
The usual forms of birth control use lots of hormones, pumping it into the body. It comes with a lot of side effects too. The discovery of how eggs attract sperm could lead to new birth control options that don't mess up hormones.
A protein on sperm called Izumol helps the binding of it to an egg, except, scientists couldn't figure out what enabled the binding. Now, researchers have found another protein called Folr4 and realized that what they thought about the initial function in the egg was wrong. They discovered that the protein played a huge part in the binding of sperm and egg.
When they blocked the protein in cells, they found that the sperm couldn't make the connection for reproduction. It worked on mice genetically modified without Folr4. The protein eventually got a new name because of its efficacy: Juno - the Roman goddess of marriage.
This could lead to other things besides birth control methods. It includes better fertility treatments, especially those to determine if a woman is lacking in this specific protein.
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