I recently came across some findings that really blew my mind. While this is what some would call, ‘old news,’ it is monumental and to be honest, has not been covered near enough.
For those who do not know, a ‘spark‘ is something that happens at the very moment that a sperm cell makes contact with an egg. This has been observed in animals of all kinds but was not observed in humans until just a few years ago! To make this even more interesting we have also learned that some eggs burn brighter than others. According to the Northwestern University, they can use this ‘brightness’ to their advantage.
They believe that this can be used to determine an egg’s ability to develop into a healthy embryo. Yes, these zinc fireworks are proving to be far more important than we could have ever imagined. This explosion of light happens when the human egg is activated by a sperm enzyme and if we pay attention to the ‘explosion’ in itself we can choose the best eggs to transfer during in vitro fertilization (IVF).
“This is the first experiment that shows that the zinc spark intensity, the amount of zinc released, might correlate with embryo quality,” says Professor Tom O’Halloran who worked on the study. “We hope that it will increase the well-being of the offspring from people who go through in vitro fertilization because we think that this might give them the opportunity to only implant a single embryo. The morbidity and mortality in multiple births is significantly greater.”
Teresa Woodruff one of the study’s two senior authors said as follows in a statement:
“This means if you can look at the zinc spark at the time of fertilization, you will know immediately which eggs are the good ones to transfer in IVF. It’s a way of sorting egg quality in a way we’ve never been able to assess before.”
“We discovered the zinc spark just five years ago in the mouse, and to see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”
“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization, yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human. This discovery required a unique partnership between biologists and chemists and non-federal dollars to support the research.”
Research on this was titled The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation and was published in Scientific Reports. Had you heard of this before? I for one am BLOWN AWAY!