Feeds

Boffins to filter duff sperm

Sorting the sheep from the goats

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

Australian scientists from the University of Newcastle in New South Wales reckon they have built a machine that can sort duff sperm from the sort of virile, thrusting, genetically-superior seed required for successful IVF.

The device is, according to a BBC report, "based on the principle that the sperm with the most negatively charged membranes are likely to have the least DNA damage." Such damage is thought to be linked to infertility and an increased chance of developing childhood cancers. Older dads and those who smoke and have been exposed to pollution in the workplace are more likely to pump out dodgy spermatozoa.

The "Gradiflow" requires sperm to travel between two chambers separated by a electrically-charged filter. Tests indicated that "the 20% of sperm that made it into the second chamber had only half as much DNA damage as the sperm left behind".

Dr Moira O'Bryan, of the Monash Institute of Reproduction and Development in Melbourne, said: "It is so simple. I've never seen anything like it before. You turn it on, the sperm move across and there you go. Only time will tell, but it might take some of the subjective nature out of picking good sperm."

The Gradiflow will be further tested in trials on women undergoing IVF later this year, although some doubt the claims that damaged sperm lead to both "a lower IVF success rate, and a higher risk of miscarriage". London Fertility Centre director, Professor Ian Craft, cautioned: "If it works, this device sounds like a nice idea." ®

Related stories

Laptops cause infertility: official
Mobile phones rot your balls
Lesbian pregnant using web-sourced sperm

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.