20 July 2011
Vol 3, Issue 92
  • Contents

    • Commentary

    • Perspective

      • Defending Male Fertility

        Evidence from functional studies and human genetics shows that a common variant in the DEFB126 gene leads to reduced male fertility.

    • Research Articles

    • Editors' Choice

      • The Body Fat Paradox

        A genome-wide association study meta-analysis on body fat percentage reveals associations with the genes FTO, IRS1, and SPRY2, plus an interesting paradox.

      • Genomic Medicine at Its Best

        Rare disease helps identify crucial molecular network in host defense against fungal infection.

      • Setting Sights on a Silent Killer

        Improved optical imaging technology moves 3D histology and electron microscopy in vivo.

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Defending Fertility. Fertile human sperm are coated with β-defensin proteins, as depicted here by a fluorescent blue glow.  Tollner et al. report that men carrying two copies of the gene encoding this defensin (the del/del genotype) have less of the protein on the sperm’s surface, which lowers the rate of sperm penetration through cervical mucus and causes infertility. Indeed, the couples they interviewed were less likely to become pregnant if the male partner had the del/del variant. Identifying this common β-defensin gene variation provides an opportunity to treat human infertility. [CREDIT: C. BICKEL/SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE]