The moment of human conception is marked by a bright flash of light, scientists have discovered.
In amazing new footage from Northwestern University of the moment a human sperm makes contact with an egg, a bright flash of light is seen, which scientists found is the result of an explosion of zinc from the egg triggered by the sperm.
“It was remarkable,” Northwestern professor Teresa Woodruff, one of the study’s two senior authors, told The Telegraph. “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.”
The flash of light was brighter in some of the eggs than others, which Woodruff and the other study authors think indicates a healthier egg, since zinc is a major factor in the catalyst of growth and change into a new organism. They are hopeful the discovery could help doctors choose the right embryo to implant into a woman trying to get pregnant by in vitro fertilization.
“It’s a way of sorting egg quality in a way we’ve never been able to assess before,” Woodruff added. “All of biology starts at the time of fertilization, yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”
The full results of the study will be published Wednesday in Scientific Reports.
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