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05/04/2001 12:35 PM ID: 6152 Permalink   

New Finding May Explain Male Infertility


Scientists have identified an enzyme which helps sperm to penetrate a female's egg, allowing her to become impregnated.

The enzyme instructs the sperm to extend a miniature spike, called an acrosome, which pierces the protective layer of the egg. If the enzyme is absent, the acrosome cannot function properly.

Understanding the enzyme may not only explain why some males are infertile, but may also lead to the development of new contraceptives.

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