why aren’t sperm considered as “alive” like we do bacteria and other single celled organisms?



im probably wording this wrong….English is my native language…i has a case of the dumb

In: Biology

They don’t breath, take in nutrients, expel waste or reproduce on their own. Therefore not alive

They don’t pass any of the various rules of what constitutes “life” – don’t metabolize, don’t reproduce.

They do not contain a complete genome. They only have half of the DNA needed to make an offspring. that puts them in the “not really alive” category with viruses.

I’m not sure why so many people have stated cells aren’t alive. All living cells are alive….

They’re not independent but part of a multicellular organism. They can’t reproduce and make other sperm cells on their own, they’re part of a system.

Biology teacher for freshmen checking in. Let’s break this down into a description.

Sperm are considered “alive” as they are a cell, though specialized since they are part of multicellular organisms, just like your liver cells are alive, a women’s egg cell is alive, a skin cell is alive, or even a red blood cell (red blood cells are very neat and they lack all cell parts except a cell membrane and a cytoplasm because they are filled to the brim with hemoglobin).

But when talking about a sperm cell by itself when removed from it’s multicellular structure it’s hard to identify it as alive since it cannot “reproduce”, or go through mitosis to make more of itself.

Another thing that makes sperm different in a way that you would classify is not “alive” sense you are taking about is the organelles that the sperm has. The only cell organelles the sperm cell has is a flagellum, a cell membrane, cytoplasm, mitochondria, and a nucleous to contain the cell. A prokyrote cell, or bacteria cell, has 2-3 of the cell parts listed above, such as a flagellum if it needs to move, a cell membrane and a cytoplasm. Bacteria cells are classified as a prokyrote cell because they lack membrane bound organelles (or cell parts) which basically means they do not have a nucleous, a mitochondron. They still have DNA (or RNA if very underdeveloped). They also contain one thing all functioning cells need to survive- a ribosome.

A ribosome is a cell part that produces proteins, which is what actually controls a cell and makes the cell do specific things. Sperm cells lack this organelle so when away from it’s multicellular unit it cannot produce anything it would need for life, or to make the cell divide since the cell needs to code for proteins to make the cell split.

A sperm cell is different from a virus in that a virus does not have the ability to live outside the host body, it’s more of a machine. I compare them to little thrives that hijack your equipment to make more of itself. They are little DNA or RNA buddles inside a membrane structure that it also steals from the cell.

I hope this answers your question but it is not nearly as cut and dry. Personally I classify sperm as alive as long as they are fulfilling their needed function and since they do have specific parts that make them classified as a cell. A cell is the smallest unit capable of life. I in turn do not classify a virus as alive as it really is just a “nucleous” if you will of a membrane and DNA. It cannot survive outside its preferred zones, it completely lacks the ability to preform any form of homeostasis, and it does not have to preform any metabolic processes. With that, I know a biologist who study viruses and they would classify viruses as alive, so it does boil down to how you would seperates and segment them.

Please feel free to ask me any questions and excuse my spelling errors, my phone sucks and I am a dyslexic individual.

Edit: thanks fiance for the gold, since I know you gave it to me…