Sperm sorting research

Sperm sorting research

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Credit: SCOTT BAUER/US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Sperm sorting research. This apparatus is used to sort batches of livestock sperm. Sperm cells carrying the X chromosomes, which will produce female offspring, have more DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) than cells carrying the Y chromosomes, which will produce males. The quantity of DNA is measured using a fluorescent dye and a laser (blue) which causes the dye to glow. The sperm are sorted according to the light they emit. This means that the production of male and female offspring can be controlled, making livestock reproduction more efficient. This research was performed for the United States Department of Agriculture at the Germplasm and Gamete Physiology Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, USA.

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