Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sperm attracted to the scent of Lily of the Valley???

Can human sperm cells smell? Well that is what I just read, never knew this before. There is found that human sperm cells have an odorant receptor which triggers a series of physiological events that may result in the directed movement of human sperm. The sperm-attracting odorant is named 'Bourgeonal' this is an aroma chemical used in perfumes and soap for it's Lily of the Valley scent. So where is this Bourgeonal/Lily of the Valley scent come from, does the egg of the woman produce this scent or is it produced somewhere else? They don't have an answer to that question yet. Another interesting thing is that the aroma chemical 'Undecanal' (Aldehyde C-11 undecylenic, waxy/fatty/rose/citrus odor) appears to block the effect of Bourgeonal and inhibits the chemo sensory response in sperm cells. Maybe in the future Undecanal will be used to prevent undesired pregnancies, instead of hormones, and Bourgeonal to help people to get pregnant. Who knows, and who knows they maybe will find more odorant receptors.

If you like to read more about this subject, here are some links:
NY Times
Health 24
And in German language:


chayaruchama said...

Lieve Meisje-

You watch where you put that Bourgenol now !
Don't get my hopes up, for becoming "Oma"...

Jenny said...

Dear Chaya, I rather like to use the Undecanal......LOL