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Sperm donation after death is ‘morally permissible’

Sperm donation after death is ‘morally permissible’

Technology
Sperm should be added to the list of human tissue that can be donated after death, academics say.There is currently a UK-wide gap in supply, with samples imported from foreign sperm banks in order to keep up with demand, according to the experts. "It is both feasible and morally permissible for men to volunteer their sperm to be donated to strangers after death in order to ensure sufficient quantities of sperm with desired qualities," say Dr Nathan Hodson of the College of Life Sciences at University of Leicester, and Joshua Parker of the Department of Education and Research at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester.Writing in the Journal of Medical Ethics, the authors argue it is important to secure a reliable source of sperm, given "the immense value of having the ability to reproduce".While...
Screw-shaped bird sperm swims faster

Screw-shaped bird sperm swims faster

Science
April 5 (UPI) -- Screw-shaped or spiral sperm swim faster than straight sperm, according to a new survey of songbird sperm conducted by researchers at the University of Oslo. Scientists analyzed sperm samples collected from 36 different passerine species, from house sparrows to tree swallows, and discovered corkscrew-shaped sperm swam faster than straight sperm. While speedier sperm offers a reproductive advantage, the benefits come at a price. Doctoral student Hanna Nyborg Støstad found spiral-shaped sperm were more likely to be defective or damaged. Straighter bird sperm may be slower, but the latest research suggests they are hardier. Faster, screw-shaped sperm is more fragile. "Our results suggest that there is a trade-off between swimming speed and robustness of the sperm," Støstad...
No sign of 'distressed sperm whale' in loch

No sign of 'distressed sperm whale' in loch

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device A search of a Highlands loch has found no sign of a sperm whale believed to be in difficulty earlier this week.The animal, which has been estimated to be up to 9m (30ft) long, was reported to have been tangled in rope in Loch Eriboll, near Durness, Sutherland.Coastguard and British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) volunteers and Scottish SPCA officers have been monitoring the whale.The whale was reported to the coastguard on Wednesday.BDMLR said it had been unable to confirm if the animal was caught in rope, adding that the it might have been ill or injured.'Lost its course'A team from the organisation had hoped to get to Loch Eriboll on Thursday with specialist equipment, but it was delayed.A sear...
Global warming is cooking sperm and could threaten male fertility

Global warming is cooking sperm and could threaten male fertility

Science
Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Heatwaves are frying the sperm inside insects, according to a new study. The findings, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, could help explain why biodiversity continues to decline as the planet warms. "We've shown in this work that sperm function is an especially sensitive trait when the environment heats up, and in a model system representing a huge amount of global biodiversity," Matt Gage, researcher at the University of East Anglia, said in a news release. "Since sperm function is essential for reproduction and population viability, these findings could provide one explanation for why biodiversity is suffering under climate change." Plants and animals can adapt to environmental changes, but studies suggests rapid changes in temperature can trigger ...
Men with low sperm counts at increased risk of illness, study suggests

Men with low sperm counts at increased risk of illness, study suggests

Health
Men with low sperm counts are more likely to have a number of health issues that put them at increased risk of illness, new research suggests. A study of 5,177 men found those with low sperm counts were 20% more likely to have more body fat, higher blood pressure and more "bad" cholesterol.They were also much more likely to have low testosterone levels.The study's authors said it showed that men with low sperm counts should also be tested for other health problems. Sperm drop 'could make humans extinct'Male infertility treatment ‘insensitive’'Risk factors'Low sperm count and problems with sperm quality are factors in around one in three couples who are struggling to get pregnant. But for this new study scientists analysed men in infertile couples in Italy, to see whether semen quality is a...