A Most Important Meeting | August 29, 2011 Issue - Vol. 89 Issue 35 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 35 | pp. 36-37
Issue Date: August 29, 2011

A Most Important Meeting

Biochemistry: A sugar that coats the human ovum and is recognized by sperm may help explain the first steps of fertilization
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Biological SCENE
Keywords: fertilization, sperm, egg

Life’s most important rendezvous occurs between a sperm and an egg, and scientists have long debated precisely how this get-together occurs.

Now, researchers based in England, China, Taiwan, and the U.S. have identified a sugar, located on a human ovum, that is recognized by human sperm (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1207438). The identity of the sugar, called sialyl Lewisx, is an essential piece of information required to unscramble the biochemical steps taken during fertilization and may . . .

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