Colostrum and Breastmilk
Colostrum is often referred to as ‘first milk’, and is produced by all mammals. It is thick and yellow in colour, typically available in the days immediately after birth. Colostrum is higher in both fat and protein than regular milk. It is a concentrated substance, with important nutrients and antibodies that the newborns need for protection. Colostrum is essential in strengthening both the immune and digestive systems of the baby. It is the first immune system defense they receive after birth. Breastmilk is also produced by all mammals, but after colostrum production has stopped. Unlike colostrum, milk can be produced for months or years after birth. It is thinner and whiter than colostrum but is also rich in macro and micronutrients such as protein, calcium, potassium, iodine, phosphorus, and vitamins B2 and B12.
Sperm and SemenPondering over sperm and semen and wondering how they differ? Well, semen and sperm are like squares and rectangles. Sperm is a part of semen but semen isn’t a part of sperm. Sperm cells are male gametes. The function of these cells is to find a female gamete with which they fertilize. In this process, sperm enters the vagina by being expelled through the penis. This expulsion is known as ejaculation. When this occurs, the sperm arrives within a fluid created by the accessory male sex organs. This mixture of sperm and fluid is called semen. Semen is also known as seminal fluid containing secretions from seminal vesicles, prostate gland, testicles, epididymis, bulbourethral and urethral glands. Semen also contains citric acid, free amino acids, fructose, enzymes, calcium, phosphorylcholine, prostaglandin, potassium, and zinc.
Gametogenesis and Meiosis
Is meiosis and gametogenesis same? Let us see. Meiosis is a cell division process wherein reduction division occurs causing chromosome number to be reduced to half the number. Gametogenesis is the process of production of gametes through the division of diploid cells for the production of new haploid cells. It is the process in which the diploid cells change into mature gametes. In gametogenesis, both mitotic and meiotic divisions takes place.
Spermatogenesis and Spermiogenes
isSpermatogenesis and Spermiogenesis confused? Spermatogenesis and spermiogenesis are two stages that occur during the formation of the male gametes i.e. the sperms. The main difference between spermatogenesis and spermiogenesis is that spermatogenesis is the term given to the complete process of formation of sperm cells whereas spermiogenesis is the final step of spermatogenesis. In spermiogenesis, maturation of the spermatids into sperm cells occur. This means spermatogenesis is the complete process of the production of the sperm cells from the cells of the germinal epithelium of testes in males. Spermiogenesis, on the other hand, is the final differentiation and maturation process of the spermatids into sperm cells.
Sex of the Baby: Is it on Mother or the Father? In our society, the women are often blamed for giving birth to daughters. Check this explanation to understand why this is not correct. Human beings have 23 pairs of chromosomes, out of these, 22 pairs are autosomes, and the last pair varies in males and females. Males are heterogametic, i.e. they produce two types of male gametes or sperms, where 50% of the sperms carry the ‘X’ chromosome, while the rest 50% carry the ‘Y’ chromosome. On the other hand, females are homogametic, i.e. they produce only one type of gamete, the egg, each of which carries the ‘X’ chromosome only. Once the male and female gametes have fused to form the zygote, it would carry either XX chromosome or XY chromosome, depending on whether sperm carrying X or Y fertilized the egg. Hence, if the sperm carrying ‘X’ fertilizes the egg (zygote XX), then it would develop into a female baby and if the sperm carrying ‘Y’ fertilizes the egg (zygote XY), a male baby will be developed. Both of these cases are attributed to the sperm that carries the chromosome fertilizing the egg. Hence, we say that the sex of the child is determined by the father and not the mother. So, it is incorrect to blame women for the gender of the child.