What Exactly Happens When Sperm Meets Egg?

When sperm fertilizes an egg, sparks literally ignite. How can these flashy signals be useful in non-traditional forms of fertilization?

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Zinc Sparks Are Triggered By Fertilization And Facilitate Cell Cycle Resumption In Mammalian Eggs
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3171139/
“Using chemical and physical probes, we show that fertilization of the mature, zinc-enriched egg triggers the ejection of zinc into the extracellular milieu in a series of coordinated events termed zinc sparks.”

Assisted Reproductive Technology: Fertility Clinic Success Rates Report
http://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/Publications/art/ART-2013-Clinic-Report-Full.pdf
“Assisted reproductive technology (ART) has been used in the United States since 1981 to help women become pregnant, most commonly through the transfer of fertilized human eggs into a woman’s uterus. However, for many people, deciding whether to undergo this expensive and time-consuming treatment can be difficult.
The goal of this report is to help patients make informed decisions about ART by providing some of the information needed to answer the following questions…”

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