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Seminal fluid, not just sperm, can influence offspring’s survival


Scientist

Seminal fluid, not just sperm, can influence offspring’s survival

By Michael Marshall There’s more to semen than we thoughtkatoosha/GettyBaby fish grow up differently depending on the liquid their father’s sperm swam in. The finding shows that fathers can influence their offspring through chemicals in the semen, as well as through the sperm themselves. “There is something in the seminal plasma, maybe some non-genetic factor,…

Seminal fluid, not just sperm, can influence offspring’s survival

By Michael Marshall

European whitefish

There’s more to semen than we thought

katoosha/Getty

Baby fish grow up differently depending on the liquid their father’s sperm swam in. The finding shows that fathers can influence their offspring through chemicals in the semen, as well as through the sperm themselves.

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“There is something in the seminal plasma, maybe some non-genetic factor, that is modifying the offspring,” says Jukka Kekäläinen at the University of Eastern Finland in Joensuu.

Among sexually reproducing species, males produce sex cells called sperm that are carried in a liquid called semen. The sperm merge with eggs produced by females, which …

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