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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Adam Steinhauer, Marketing Director • May 10, 2024
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Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Adam Steinhauer, Marketing Director • May 10, 2024
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Eagle Spirit dancer Migizii Kwe dances with the audience at this years East Lansing Art Festival. Photo credit: Samantha Ku/WDBM
2024 East Lansing Art Festival Q&A
Samantha Ku, Writer/Volunteer • May 18, 2024

Heather Majano is the Art Festival & Arts Initiative Coordinator under the East Lansing Parks, Recreation & Arts department, she...

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Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Adam Steinhauer, Marketing Director • May 10, 2024
View All
Eagle Spirit dancer Migizii Kwe dances with the audience at this years East Lansing Art Festival. Photo credit: Samantha Ku/WDBM
2024 East Lansing Art Festival Q&A
Samantha Ku, Writer/Volunteer • May 18, 2024

Heather Majano is the Art Festival & Arts Initiative Coordinator under the East Lansing Parks, Recreation & Arts department, she...

The Sci-Files – 11/5/2023 – Alyssa Saunders – A Tale of Tailless Sperm: Investigating the Unique Gametes of African Electric Fish

On this week’s episode of The Sci-Files, your hosts Mari and Dimitri interview Alyssa Saunders. Alyssa studies the reproductive biology of African electric fish, called mormyrids, with a focus on their sperm and eggs. These freshwater fishes are found throughout lakes and river throughout the African continent and are used by research laboratories across the globe to study questions in evolution, neuroscience, behavior, and other biological disciplines. Besides their amazing ability to produce electricity, these fishes are also unique in that their sperm cells lack tails. Almost all animal sperm cells have a tail that allows them to swim to eggs to achieve fertilization, but the sperm of these fish do not! This is the only known case of tailless sperm evolving within a vertebrate lineage (it has evolved within 35 other lineages, but all of them are invertebrates). It is unknown what caused mormyrid sperm to lose its tail and how their sperm is still able to travel to and fertilize eggs. Furthermore, the morphology of mormyrid sperm has been known since the 1970s, but very little is known about mormyrid eggs. Alyssa’s work aims to understand how mormyrid sperm lost its tail, how their sperm is still able to fertilize eggs, and to characterize the morphology of the previously ignored female gametes.

If you’re interested in discussing your MSU research on the radio or nominating a student, please email Mari and Dimitri at [email protected]. Check The Sci-Files out on Twitter and Instagram! 

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About the Contributors
Mari Dowling
Mari Dowling, Sci-Files Producer and Co-Host
You can contact the Sci-Files hosts at: [email protected]
Dimitri Joseph
Dimitri Joseph, Co-Host of The Sci-Files
Dimitri is a 4th year D.O.-Phd (Pharmacology and Toxicology) student. He is currently in his second year of medical school. He started with Impact 89 FM as a volunteer DJ and is now a co-host of The Sci-Files. Outside of the rigors of the academic hustle, I enjoy consuming or creating a variety of art. "Remind yourself. Nobody is built like you, you designed yourself" - Jay Z

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