London: Scientists find how "sticky" egg captures sperm and say their discovery could in future help couples who suffer from infertility.In a study in the journal Science, an international team of researchers found that a specific kind of sugar molecule makes the outer coat of the egg "sticky," helping the egg and sperm bind together."The details we`ve discovered here fill in a huge gap in our knowledge of fertility and we hope they will ultimately help many of those people who currently cannot conceive," said Anne Dell of Imperial College London, who worked on the study with scientists from the universities of Missouri and Hong Kong, and the Academia Sinica in Taiwan.The World Health Organization estimates that infertility affects up to 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, many of which remain unexplained by medical science.Scientists already know that a sperm "recognizes" an egg when proteins on the head of the sperm meet and match a series of specific sugars in the egg`s outer coating. Once a successful match has been made, the outside surfaces of the sperm and egg bind together before they merge and the sperm delivers its DNA to the inside, fertilizing the egg.
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