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, layla@laylalang.com

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.

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 September 19, 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 September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
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
from the past week

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