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Radio Lab: Sperm

01/16/10 4:00PM

Peering through his microscope at the seeds of human life, the person who discovered sperm thought he was seeing the smallest incarnation of a human soul. If that was the case, why so many wasted souls? We turn to the animal kingdom to answer that question, which lands us on a tour of sperm battles in ducks, flying pig sperm, and promiscuous whippoorwills. We ponder the necessity of males in a world where sperm can be frozen and kept for all eternity. And we sit quietly with a widow struggling to keep some essence of her husband alive with sperm collected after his death.

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