Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unprecedented snapshot of single sperm cell's genome

Date:
July 19, 2012
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Every sperm cell looks essentially the same, with that characteristic tadpole appearance. But inside, sperm cells carry differences within their genes. Now, researchers provide a detailed picture of how the cell's DNA varies. The techniques used could be helpful for understanding male reproductive disorders or, when applied to other areas of research, for characterizing normal and diseased cells in the body.

Every sperm cell looks essentially the same, with that characteristic tadpole appearance. But inside, sperm cells carry differences within their genes -- even cells from the same man. Now, researchers provide a detailed picture of how the cell's DNA varies in a new study published in the July 20, 2012 issue of the Cell Press journal Cell. The techniques used could be helpful for understanding male reproductive disorders or, when applied to other areas of research, for characterizing normal and diseased cells in the body.
Credit: Layla Lang, [email protected]

Every sperm cell looks essentially the same, with that characteristic tadpole appearance. But inside, sperm cells carry differences within their genes -- even cells from the same man. Now, researchers provide a detailed picture of how the cell's DNA varies in a new study published in the July 20, 2012 issue of the Cell Press journal Cell. The techniques used could be helpful for understanding male reproductive disorders or, when applied to other areas of research, for characterizing normal and diseased cells in the body.

Related Articles


When parents pass on genetic material to their children through sperm and egg, the coded information found in their genomes is altered to increase genetic diversity and create unique features, a process that allows for natural selection and evolution. While this process has been characterized across human populations, scientists have had little information on how any particular individual's genes are changed in this way. "We have developed single-cell genome analysis technologies that enabled us to characterize how any given person mixes together their paternal and maternal inheritances to create potential offspring," says first author Jianbin Wang, a graduate student in the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University.

Working under the guidance of Prof. Stephen Quake at Stanford University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Wang and his colleagues obtained genome maps from 91 single sperm cells from one man, generating a personal map of the DNA within his sperm as well as a snapshot of the new mutations that occur within each sperm cell as its DNA is altered to increase genetic diversity.

The technology goes beyond currently available maps of human populations to provide an individualized map for a single person -- indeed, even a single cell.

"Application of this technology could significantly enhance our understanding of reproductive disorders. In addition, it may be paradigm shifting with respect to sperm or egg selection for in vitro fertilization," says coauthor Dr. Barry Behr of Stanford University. The authors note that their technology could have a variety of other clinical applications as well, such as characterizing differences in cancer cells taken from patients.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jianbin Wang, H. Christina Fan, Barry Behr, Stephen R. Quake. Genome-wide Single-Cell Analysis of Recombination Activity and De Novo Mutation Rates in Human Sperm. Cell, 20 July 2012 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.06.030

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Unprecedented snapshot of single sperm cell's genome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120719132850.htm>.
Cell Press. (2012, July 19). Unprecedented snapshot of single sperm cell's genome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120719132850.htm
Cell Press. "Unprecedented snapshot of single sperm cell's genome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120719132850.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Entire Genetic Sequence of Individual Human Sperm Determined

July 19, 2012 — The entire genomes of 91 human sperm from one man have been sequenced. The results provide a fascinating glimpse into naturally occurring genetic variation in one individual, and are the first to ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins