Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.


Logo for

Science 299 (5615): 1993-1994

Copyright © 2003 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Smelling the Roses?

Donner F. Babcock

How is it that out of millions of sperm only one fertilizes an egg? In a Perspective, Babcock discusses what we know about sperm chemotaxis and introduces new work (Spehr et al.) that identifies a receptor expressed by human sperm that may be involved in chemotaxis toward the egg. The ligand that binds to this receptor (which has not yet been identified) may be the long sought attractant released by the egg that directs and guides sperm to the site of fertilization.

The author is in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. E-mail: donner{at}

Calcium Channels in the Development, Maturation, and Function of Spermatozoa.
A. Darszon, T. Nishigaki, C. Beltran, and C. L. Trevino (2011)
Physiol Rev 91, 1305-1355
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Sex and flow: the consequences of fluid shear for sperm egg interactions.
J. A. Riffell and R. K. Zimmer (2007)
J. Exp. Biol. 210, 3644-3660
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Sperm transport in the female reproductive tract.
S.S. Suarez and A. A. Pacey (2006)
Hum. Reprod. Update 12, 23-37
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

To Advertise     Find Products

Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882