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Giant Sperm, Ultrasonic Brain Surgery, and Oil

Giant sperm – Some animals supersize their sperm. Microscopic freshwater ostracods, such as Eucypris virens, for instance have filamentous, spiralling sperm cells that can be up to ten times the body length of the organism itself. The longest known ostracod sperm cell is 10 mm long. How big would a human sperm have to be to compete in size with that of the ostracods? 17 metres long, that’s how long. But, why?

Synchrotron X-ray holotomography has revealed why size really does matter to the sex lives of some creatures. The researchers provide evidence of ancient giant fossil sperm and hint at a link to organisms alive today. Long version…

Cut-free brain surgery – A new approach to brain surgery avoids the use of the surgeon’s scalpel and instead exploits advances in magnetic resonance imaging to guide an ultrasound intervention. Dig into the full story here…

Luxurious edible oils – Researchers have developed a novel approach to the rapid assignment of NMR spectra to the major components of vegetable oils such as avocado, mango kernel and macadamia nut oils. The slick new approach could help improve quality control and detect fraud in the food industry. More…

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