It turns out that sperm has been busting out (um, no pun intended, I swear) the stupid dope calculus in order to get their tail wag on which I can only presume (Econ/Math major alert) helps the little dude swim to his destination?
How do you like your eggs? Fried or fertilized?
Don't believe me? Check this out:
Now, if you're anything like me your eyes probably crossed at word four and you were unable to easily finish reading that. Point is, sperm has been seen to do mathematical computations that were previously only thought able to be accomplished by a person in his 16th year after conception. That is fascinating. Take that eggs. You can't flip the script on us! Emit your calcium, we'll just double back and bring the whole hood back with us.
Using an ingenious stroboscopic laser illumination - similar to that used in discotheques - the project leader Luis Alvarez was able to trace the movement of sperm in detail, and simultaneously measure the changes in the calcium concentration. The result was astonishing: the sperm tail only reacted to the time derivative of the calcium concentration and the absolute concentration was of little relevance. To put it simply: sperm can perform calculus! Exactly how they do this is unclear. The caesar scientists suspect that sperm detect calcium ions with the help of two proteins. Calcium binds to one protein fast and to the other slow. By comparing the amount of calcium bound on both proteins can compute a "chemical derivative", so to speak.
But why do sperm carry out this complicated calculation that we first encounter at the upper secondary school level? The concentration of the attractants and, therefore also, the calcium concentration in sperm is very high near the egg. The mathematical trick probably enables sperm to be able to react even in the presence of such high calcium concentrations.
It is interesting though if you think about it. While I understand how reproduction works and have obviously successfully completed the process (hey Princess!) I never thought about the actual process as it was happening. Specifically I've never paid much attention to how sperm actually do their job. I mean I've seen plenty of "Where Did I Come From" specials but I never really viewed sperm as actual thinking creations. Kind of gives interesting life to the whole "when does life start" quagmire, no?
I don't want to get into that philosophical debate. Mostly I just wanted to let the women know that dudes TOTALLY rock out before we're even full dudes. I do suppose the downside is that I guess we get dumber as we get older? I know people who can't do a lick of calculus now, much less while they were in class learning it. And this is just first derivative stuff. That's child's play in the math world.
All jokes aside, isn't life and its creation fascinating? And aren't you kind of jealous htat something with only a head and tail can do something that you can't (ya know, if you can't do calculus)?