Are Sperms Alive?

Ed Arias earias1 at
Sun Jan 12 01:49:21 EST 1997

Dr E. Buxbaum wrote:
> sung at UTMDACC.MDA.UTH.TMC.EDU (GongQin Sun) wrote:
> >I have a comment in response to Dr. E. Buxbaum's post.
> >
> >1) I agree with the five characteristics, but think a sperm meets number 4
> >(self propagation) only partially at best.  Sperms can not reproduce
> >themselves first of all.  With the help of an egg, only half of the sperm
> >population (those carrying the Y chromosome) can eventually "reproduce"
> >themselves.  Am I missing something here?
> Yes, you are. You yourself are not able to reproduce without the aid of a
> partner of the opposite sex. However, this does not mean you are not
> alive (assuming you havn't just won the Turing test).

First of all "I" am not a sperm cell.  

Secondly, cancers do very well in self reproduction with few limitations.  

Thirdly, aside from parthenogenic activation...if you culture an egg (haploid #) with 
blastomeres derived from a will develop...apparently, the egg is able to 
access the "needed" DNA from the diploid cells to activate itself toward development 
(I'm vague on this work...but if you insist I will produce it for you).  Therefore, 
women don't need the opposite sex to reproduce, just a diploid cell (from another 
female) to activate the egg.
Ed Arias
University of Illinois at Chicago
Dept of Physiology & Biophysics
835 S. Wolcott Avenue
Chicago, IL  60612
Tel:    312.996.4161
Fax:    312.996.1414
e-mail: earias1 at

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