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Biotech Science

Fathers Pass Along More Mutations As They Age 131

ananyo writes "In the 1930s, the pioneering geneticist J. B. S. Haldane noticed a peculiar inheritance pattern in families with long histories of haemophilia. The faulty mutation responsible for the blood-clotting disorder tended to arise on the X chromosomes that fathers passed to their daughters, rather than on those that mothers passed down. Haldane subsequently proposed that children inherit more mutations from their fathers than their mothers, although he acknowledged that 'it is difficult to see how this could be proved or disproved for many years to come.' That year has finally arrived: whole-genome sequencing of dozens of Icelandic families has at last provided the evidence that eluded Haldane. Moreover, the study, published in Nature, finds that the age at which a father sires children determines how many mutations those offspring inherit. By starting families in their thirties, forties and beyond, men could be increasing the chances that their children will develop autism, schizophrenia and other diseases often linked to new mutations (abstract)."
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Fathers Pass Along More Mutations As They Age

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