Chicago – Human eggs reveal how fertile they are by radiating zinc fireworks when insemination is successful. Through microscopic imaging, researchers at Northwestern University saw for the first time actual flashes of light being triggered by the sperm enzyme in a human egg. The discovery will help fertility experts conduct a more accurate selection of healthy eggs.
The relative size of the sparks indicates the egg’s potential to successfully generate a fetus. Study author Teresa Woodruff described the recent image of the phenomenon in a human egg as “breathtaking.”
An expert in ovarian biology at the university, she explained in a news release that fertility doctors will now be able to tell apart good eggs from bad ones so they can successfully transfer them in in vitro fertilization, as reported by United Press International.
“It’s a way of sorting egg quality in a way we’ve never been able to assess before,” Woodruff said.
How the celebration takes place
A human egg stores zinc and uses it to transform into a completely genetically unique organism. As an egg’s zinc binds to tiny molecular probes when released upon the egg’s activation, the probes eject a flash of fluorescence experts can see via microscopic imaging.
Study co-author Tom O’Halloran said the microscopic studies clearly show that the zinc fireworks in human egg biology can be seen outside of the cell.
Dr. Eve Feinberg, another study co-author and a physician at Fertility Centers of Illinois, said this discovery could avoid a lot of heartache and help many women achieve pregnancy more quickly. Feinberg is also an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecologist at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
Source: United Press International