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Sperm fertilising egg

Sperm fertilising egg

P648/0155

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Credit

PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Sperm fertilising egg. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of two sperm (orange) attempting to fertilise a human egg (blue). The rounded head of each sperm is seen and their long tail. Women usually produce one large egg (ovum) for fertili- sation, whereas men release some 300 million much smaller sperm (spermatozoa) which travel through the uterus to reach the egg. A few hundred sperm survive this journey and encounter the egg in the fallopian tube. However, only one sperm succeeds in penetrating the egg's wall and fertilises the egg by fusing with its nucleus. When this occurs, the egg membrane forms a barrier to other sperm. Magnification: unknown.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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