Older fathers transmit more mutations than middle-aged mother

A scientific study conducted in Iceland showed that on average, fathers transmit four times as many new mutations as mothers and the older the man, the greater is this difference. Many of these mutations, in all probability, will not affect the child, however some can affect the risk of rare diseases, say the study authors.

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Scientists say that children are always born with dozens of new genetic mutations (i.e. mutations that are not present in the DNA of their parents), and most of them does not affect physical and mental health. However, a study of some of these mutations is of great interest to science and medicine.

As shown by a new study, on average, 80 percent of new mutations children “get” from the father, and young parents, this percentage (and the total number of mutations) is lower and age is higher. Geneticists attribute this to the fact that a woman’s eggs with age not changed, only age, while the body of men constantly produces new sex cells, and each of their division leads to the appearance of new mutations.

The study was published in the journal Nature.

For fairly obvious reasons, the focus of most researchers studying the impact of age on the offspring are exactly the mother they carry the child, so, of course, affect the health of the child. In particular, it was previously shown that children of young mothers are often prone to diabetes and several other diseases. However, other experts also showed that late fatherhood may lead to adverse effects — in particular, according to one study on the subject, the age of fathers is somewhat most children born with autism. Recently another group of scientists said that children of older fathers tend to leave less offspring than others.

Anyway, the majority of experts agree in opinion that procreation should not be unduly postponed. However, there is an alternative point of view: in the past year, experts from the society of max Planck and the London school of Economics said that late children over older children from the same parents, are born in a world where the progress has gone on, and the new achieve this progress outweigh the risks associated with late fatherhood or motherhood.

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