Older parents tend to inherit more mutations
The man’s sperm accumulates mutations as the person ages, two mutations per year to be precise. While there may be some advantages of these mutations, others can cause health problems such as schizophrenia.
New cells are constantly being created sperm from stem cells. These cells multiply to make copies of DNA, but errors do occur during this process, forming mutations.
“These mutations are not necessarily destructive” said Anne Goriely, University of Oxford, “are essential for species to evolve” he added.
To find out how many mutations can accumulate with age, Kari Stefansson and colleagues at Decode Genetics in Reykjavik, Iceland, sequenced the genomes of people with schizophrenia and autism and bought with the genomes of their parents, who did not have any these conditions.
This approach allowed the team StefÃ¡nsson find out which parent the mutation resided son inherited. They realized that in most of the recent mutations was the father who had inherited them and the number of mutations was associated with Age: about two new mutations occur for each year that the parent expects to have a child.
Although already knew a little about this, studies confirm this: the older you are, the harder it becomes to have a child; clear that this does not mean that having 40, 50 or more and you should not try to have children (there we have the example of Anthony Quinn), but if you consider the risks involved.
Nor does it mean that all mutations are bad, there may be some beneficial and there may be some that have no effect at all. Best always plan things and protect yourself, remember, there’s no party without balloons.
Link: Older fathers pass on more mutations (New Scientist)Tags: genetic mutations, old parents, older, sperm, stem cells