When young sperm are not just sperm anymore
New York: You know that in your first hours of life, cells in the nascent embryo mature into skin, heart, gut, or any type of cell - called totipotency.
New research shows that that totipotency is a step-wise process, manifesting as early as in precursors to sperm - called adult germline stem cells (AGSCs) which reside in the testicles.
Typically, sperm precursors live a mundane life.
They divide, making more cells like themselves, until they receive the signal instructing them to mature into sperm.
There is evidence now that these cells have the potential to do more.
“Under the unusual conditions that promote the cells to form dense cancerous masses called testicular teratomas, the young sperm transform into precursors of skin, muscle and gut cells,” said Bradley Cairns, a professor of oncological sciences at University of Utah.
This prompted the investigators to examine the gene programme within sperm precursors.
They wondered, would it be like that of a cell that is destined to become a single cell type, or like that of a cell with the potential to become anything?
The answer, they found, is that the sperm precursors are somewhere in between.
In other words, these young sperm have the potential to become totipotent.
Once fertilisation occurs, Cairns explains, cells have to become fully totipotent in a short amount of time.
“Then, when the sperm and egg come together, all you have to do is complete the job that you had already started,” he added.
The research was published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- I eat beef, can somebody stop me?: Kiren Rijiju hits back at Naqvi
- Delhi: Visually impaired boy scores 91.4% in CBSE 12th Board exams
- MP: 14-year-old boy works as bonded labour since 2009
- UP: Man chops off wife's nose, hair for dowry
- Zee Media Exclusive: The plight of yoga expert Tejaswi Sharma
- Heat ave continues in India, death toll climbs to over 1,400
- Megastar Amitabh Bachchan slapped with Rs 1 crore notice
- Woman denied flat in Mumbai for being a Muslim
- 4 Indians in Forbes' 100 most powerful women list
- Kenyan lawyer offers to marry Barack Obama's daughter Malia
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads
- Maggi likely to face ban in India!
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads- Part II
- AIB: The 'Third Gender's right to dignity'
- Salman Khan accident files burnt in Mantralaya fire
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 to be announced today
- Check mahresult.nic.in for MSBSHSE Maharashtra Class 12 HSC Result 2015
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- Maharashtra MSBSHSE HSC Result 2015 on mahresult.nic.in
- Check cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 10 Result 2015
- First look: Salman Khan steals thunder in `Bajrangi Bhaijaan`
- I was misquoted, says Kiren Rijiju on 'beef' remark
- CBSE Class 10 (Class X Board) Result 2015 on cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in at 2 pm
- mahresult.nic.in updated with MSBSHSE Maharashtra HSC Class XII Result 2015
- Manmohan Singh defends himself on 2G charge, slams Modi govt for 'carbon copy' schemes
- Sonia Gandhi 'unconstitutional authority' during UPA: PM Narendra Modi
- Hours after attacking NDA govt, Manmohan Singh meets PM Narendra Modi
- Reservation stir: Five percent job quota to Gujjars unlikely, hints Rajasthan govt
- PMO website revamped, now send e-mail to PM Modi directly
- Death toll climbs to over 1400 as intense heatwave continues in India