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Medicine Science

Fathers Pass On Four Times As Many New Genetic Mutations As Mothers, Says Study (theguardian.com) 181

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Children inherit four times as many new mutations from their fathers than their mothers, according to research that suggests faults in the men's DNA are a driver for rare childhood diseases. Researchers studied 14,000 Icelanders and found that men passed on one new mutation for every eight months of age, compared with women who passed on a new mutation for every three years of age. The figures mean that a child born to 30-year-old parents would, on average, inherit 11 new mutations from the mother, but 45 from the father. Kari Stefansson, a researcher at the Icelandic genetics company, deCODE, which led the study, said that while new mutations led to variation in the human genome, which is necessary for evolution to happen, "they are also believed to be responsible for the majority of cases of rare diseases in childhood." In the study published in Nature, the researchers analyzed the DNA of 1,500 Icelanders and their parents and, for 225 people, at least one of their children. They found that new mutations from mothers increased by 0.37 per year of age, a quarter of the rate found in men. While the vast majority of new mutations are thought to be harmless, occasionally they can disrupt the workings of genes that are important for good health.
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Fathers Pass On Four Times As Many New Genetic Mutations As Mothers, Says Study

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  • I guess this means (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NEDHead ( 1651195 ) on Thursday September 21, 2017 @11:31PM (#55242273)

    Fathers are the mother of evolution

    • All cis-privileged men are evil and always to blame

      • Surprised The Guardian didn't frame it that way, so .. wait, did they just assume someone's gender?

      • All cis-privileged men are evil and always to blame

        The way I read it, it means men are 4 times as responsible for the evolution of the species. You need to spread around a lot of genetic mutation to make evolution work, after all.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It appears that throughout evolutionary history a much larger proportion of men produced no offspring than did women. The men who did produce offspring produced more, leading to human beings having about twice as many female ancestors as male (males were more likely to be distant cousins of other males in your family tree, which means more duplication of (great-)*n grandfathers).

      Since males were more likely to be childless, to have an equal influence on evolution the males who were fathers would need to pas

      • by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @08:15AM (#55243491) Homepage Journal
        I believe the generally accepted view on the evolutionary impact of sexual dimorphism, in most mammals, is that males are experimental (and relatively expendable, as far as biological fitness is concerned; the act of copulation is a relatively brief part of childrearing.) Take, for example, the X chromosome: with only one copy, males experience its effects far more prominently. In females, one of the copies of the X chromosome is selected at random to be disabled [wikipedia.org], so the two copies are averaged out, statistically driving the overall phenotype toward the mean. There are a number of physiological traits that exhibit this pattern, for example men have a higher standard deviation in height than women. In a hunter-gatherer scenario, this protects the nucleus of the tribe from deleterious mutations, and is a key advantage of sexual reproduction.
        • by Shinobi ( 19308 )

          The interesting thing about the study is that due to the fairly high amount of inbreeding in Iceland's native population, you can observe more clearly some aspects of mutation, but for the same reason, you can't in any objective way generalize it across other population groups

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      Keep your balls cool - it may be beneficial.

      There's a reason why the male reproductive system is on the outside. But in the modern society with "ideal" climate and clothing that part of the body easily gets warmer than what nature intended.

      • There is no evidence that the cause of male genetic errors are caused by temperature of the testes. The reason they are external is that sperm cannot be formed at typical mammal internal body temperatures. Higher temperatures will result in a lower sperm count (and thus less virility). But that doesn't mean that the sperm would have more mutations.

        Would be an interesting topic of study, however.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That has been known for a long time.
      Men are more susceptible to mutations and will have more outliers.
      Put up a bell curve of whatever trait and the outliers on both ends are likely to be men.

      In a way it makes sens considering the cost to carry a child.
      Men are an expendable test bench, it doesn't matter if half of them are too deformed to reproduce as long as the other half is better than the previous generation. Multiple women can carry children from the same father if necessary.

      The big question is: Why is

      • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @07:29AM (#55243373) Homepage Journal

        Mutations occur mainly during cell replication. Given how many sperm are produced (compared to eggs) there's going to be many more generations of sperm (in the stem cell lineage) replications between a man and a woman over their lifetime. I've seen 5 billion quoted as a man's lifetime sperm production. From 1 starting stem cell that's over 30 generations. I don't see any hard data on how many eggs a woman is born with (since they don't replicate beyond that) but if it's say 50,000, that's around 15 generations. Each generation is an opportunity for more mutation. So the man has up to 15 additional generations of sperm production as he ages.

        I've also seen a study awhile ago that mentioned that older men have more mutations in their sperm, which also makes sense for the same reason, they're farther down the generation tree in their sperm production. Nothing about this article is surprising in the least.

        • Well, you seem not to know much about women :)
          Fertile age range, 14 - 50 (simplified), 28 cycle, makes 13 cycles per year. 36 * 13 yields 468, so lets say: 500 eggs.
          On the other hand, we have new research indicating that the old idea that a woman is born with a fixed amount of eggs is wrong. .they get recreated just like sperm, but at a different speed/rate.

          • by v1 ( 525388 )

            perhaps you slept through a certain class in school ;)

            You are counting the number of eggs ovulated, not created. For every one egg ovulated at the start of the cycle, there may have been a dozen or more on the surface of the ovary in various stages of maturation. When one follacle bursts and releases its egg, the others immediately stop growing and are re-absorbed. (when two burst at about the same time, you have a possibility for fraternal twins)

            I don't have hard numbers on eggs ripening, but a dozen is

            • When I was in school, the mantra was: a girl is born with a fixed amount of eggs.

              But thanx for your simple update :D

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Unfortunately we don't really want evolution any more, at least not individually. Most evolution is failures, the kind of genetic downgrade that natural selection would deselect through premature death.

      I wonder if this might lead to more men freezing sperm as teenagers, when the mutation rate is lowest.

      • Unfortunately we don't really want random evolution any more

        Fixed that. We definitely see and acknowledge deficiencies in our genetic makeup, and we definitely want to fix those things. What we don't want is the sort of random survival of the fittest evolution that brought us to this point.

      • Unfortunately we don't really want evolution any more, at least not individually. Most evolution is failures, the kind of genetic downgrade that natural selection would deselect through premature death.

        The chapter on humanity isn't finished yet. Humanity has a real Achilles's heel in it''s propensity toward killing other humans. The smart part of our brain is in a big struggle with our primitive brain, which is hyperagressive and enjoys handing out death. This is important now that we are fully capable of rendering the planet uninhabitable as easily as defeating the next tribe over.

        I wonder if this might lead to more men freezing sperm as teenagers, when the mutation rate is lowest.

        The freezing process might lead to a higher rate of mutations - this is conjecture, so if someone knows, chime in. I believe

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Those aren't frivolous questions, and in fact at least one has been legally resolved in the UK.

          There was a couple who fertilized some eggs and froze them when the wife had a serious illness and became infertile. Then they divorced and the man married someone else. The women wanted to use the fertilized eggs, but he declined to give consent and as is usual in such cases the storage facility wanted to destroy them. It went to court and was eventually decided that she couldn't force her ex-husband to become a

          • I guess with sperm it could be a little different, since you could conceivably freeze, store, unfreeze and... er... smear it onto a cervix yourself. I don't know where the law stands, but I imagine it's probably covered under medical uses of body tissue or something, but complicated by the fact that it could result in a child. I don' think it has ever been tested.

            There have been a few cases here in North America. There was one in Canada where "gifted" sperm from a man was considered to be a woman's property to do with as she wished. As far as I know, there was no further children born. Then there was a rather creepy case od a woman, who's son was killed in 2009 in an assault, who had his sperm retrieved in the hopes of getting a grandchild from his sperm and a surrogate. There have been some other came where the male has retained ownership of his splooge. Hey, I'm

            • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

              Seems like it would be similar to organ donation. If the donor is alive they forfeit all rights to the donated organ, because otherwise they would own a part of someone else. If they are dead but gave permission while still alive, it would be up to their surviving family and once donated out of their control again.

              The real issue seems to be consent.

      • "I wonder if this might lead to more men freezing sperm as teenagers, when the mutation rate is lowest."

        Maybe it will reverse the trend and for the average couple it'll be the man that's younger.

  • xy has less capacity. deviations magnified?
    • I'd suspect its because male gonads are more readily exposed to mutation causing environmental factors such as radiation, chemicals, etc
      • Re: xx vs. xy (Score:5, Informative)

        by Matt.Battey ( 1741550 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @12:01AM (#55242349)

        Male gametes are continuously produced, while female gametes are 100% present at birth. Transcription errors occurs during replication which may be as much of a factor as male vs. female gonad tissue depth.

        • by mentil ( 1748130 )

          female gametes are 100% present at birth

          That's recently been found to be untrue.

          • by deviated_prevert ( 1146403 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @02:54AM (#55242727) Journal

            female gametes are 100% present at birth

            That's recently been found to be untrue.

            Not quite. It depends greatly upon the health of the female in the years just prior to puberty. A more concise explanation of ovogenesis [nih.gov]is here. This is indeed news for most nerds of the computer kind but then again we do understand the concept of having soldered in ram that cannot be increased. With male nerds the problem lies in the waste of excess male gametes while thinking about the physical aspects of a females reproductive organs. Thus reducing the quantity of male gametes available when the occasion actually occurs. So we do not reproduce as frequently as males who do the real thing, a situation which in theory could reduce the population of nerds in the long run.

            • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

              by coofercat ( 719737 )

              So the Catholics had it right all along? Every sperm is sacred? Wasting it won't so much make you blind as make you wish you were so you don't have to look at your mutated kids?

        • And a bit of information that is missing is how old were the fathers of the children with most mutations. As stated in the article, it is likely that 40 year old fathers contribute a disproportionate share of the mutations compared to 20 year olds.
        • Makes sense to me. What is it, tens or hundreds of millions of little swimmers that could be produced daily? That's a lot of unverified copy operations. Plenty of opportunities for mutation.
  • But the muties are all good swimmers at least.

  • Superkid !

    Yo, isn't it the mutations that allow genetic improvements? Now how can we get the Mothers to contribute more mutations and do their fair share?

  • NO (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 22, 2017 @12:39AM (#55242451)

    No. Not true. This story is lies. Fake news. Everybody knows that men and women are exactly the same at everything. Claiming otherwise is sexist and misogynist and racist and fascist and placist and bassist. You are Nazis and monsters and white supremacists. Retract this article immediately or we're going after your sponsors. Die in hell.

    Signed,
    The Tolerance Brigade

    • Re:NO (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lucm ( 889690 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @01:11AM (#55242503)

      Everybody knows that men and women are exactly the same at everything.

      ... except when the boat is sinking, then suddenly equality vanishes.

      • ... except when the boat is sinking, then suddenly equality vanishes.

        What boat?

        • Re:NO (Score:4, Informative)

          by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @03:56AM (#55242865) Homepage
          *ANY* boat - metaphorical or literal. It's a rare feminist, or any other disadvantaged group for that matter, that will stick to their principles when being a member of that group presents an opportunity to gain an advantage, as exemplified by the call "Women and children first!" in the rush to the lifeboats. The ability to put looking out for number one over our principles is one of the few things that seems to be a constant across pretty much any grouping of humankind you can imagine.
          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            Do you have any evidence of this?

            The only time "women and children first" seem to have been a thing is when the people in charge, usually men, have declared it. Whenever there is a panic it's everyone for themselves, as we have seen with recent terror attacks. Can you cite a single instance in modern times where feminists have demanded, even just suggested, that they be allowed to escape first simply due to their gender (i.e. it wasn't due to injury, pregnancy, disability etc.)?

            • Do you have any evidence of this?

              The only time "women and children first" seem to have been a thing is when the people in charge, usually men, have declared it.

              In many circumstances, it makes sense, no matter who declares it.

              If the stronger of the species were to physically make certain that they survived, and it was everyone for themselves, we'd fail as a species pretty quickly.

              Now we are not in such a situation any more, but like it or not, human males have a pretty strong protective instinct that rises to the level that we will often choose to die to save a woman or women. Same with children. But when puberty hits, the female gets the privilege of living,

              • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

                To be statistically significant there would need to be an awful lot of disasters happening on a regular basis.

                • To be statistically significant there would need to be an awful lot of disasters happening on a regular basis.

                  Do you know how life was for early humans?

            • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
              I was aiming to be more metaphorical and encompassing than the OP's more literal example of lifeboats, which is absolutely a women (and children) over men scenario, but even then - and regardless of the gender of the person who says "women and children first" - most people are going to try and get in the boat, even if it means sacrificing their principles to do so. The real point was that self-interest, whether instictive or reasoned, over principles isn't limited to any specific group - the aim is (suppos
        • ... except when the boat is sinking, then suddenly equality vanishes.

          What boat?

          (Queue cheesy 70's music) The Looooove Boat....

      • >"... except when the boat is sinking, then suddenly equality vanishes."

        So which would have advantage in such a watery disaster? The women, who have more body fat for insulation and buoyancy, better communications skills, and more endurance? Or the men, with stronger and faster bodies, better coordination, and better spacial skills?

        • >"... except when the boat is sinking, then suddenly equality vanishes."

          So which would have advantage in such a watery disaster? The women, who have more body fat for insulation and buoyancy, better communications skills, and more endurance? Or the men, with stronger and faster bodies, better coordination, and better spacial skills?

          The women and children will go in the boat because they can reproduce and continue the species. Men are utilities to be used in furthering the species. The individual male is not important, but the individual female is critical in a survival situation. The children are important because once they reach reproductive age, they can reproduce. And a few males can impregnate a lot of females when needed.

        • by lucm ( 889690 )

          The women, who have more body fat for insulation and buoyancy, better communications skills, and more endurance? Or the men, with stronger and faster bodies, better coordination, and better spacial skills?

          I hope you don't work at google, because the last time someone said something like that he was publicly fired.

          • >"I hope you don't work at google, because the last time someone said something like that he was publicly fired."

            Thankfully, no, so I am free to speak about actual reality instead of worrying about "offending" the PC police with facts and such nonsense.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        "Women and children first" is actually a bit of a myth. It seems to have been popularized by reports of the second officer aboard the Titanic asking "Hadn't we better get the women and children into the boats, sir?" The captain responded somewhat vaguely, resulting in needless deaths. But there is no basis for it in maritime law and it isn't considered in evacuation plans.

        It's actually something feminists dislike, because it's just another aspect of toxic masculinity, the idea that men should hide injuries,

        • It's more the idea that men are the expendable gender. After all, one man can get multiple women pregnant, but one women can (practically speaking) only carry one man's child at a time.
          • Re:NO (Score:4, Funny)

            by religionofpeas ( 4511805 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @10:43AM (#55244237)

            Ideally, each rescue boat should have a ratio of ten women for each man.

            It is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious...service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.

            • Whether or not we need to account for that ratio depends on whether we expect them to be reintegrated into society soon. If it's a "stuck on an abandoned island for decades" scenario, then yes. If it's a rescue back to the mainland, though, men are useless, because there's already pretty close to a 1:1 ratio in society.

              As for the selection of women, quantity is likely more important than quality for service, since the Coolidge effect would likely be in play.

        • by lucm ( 889690 )

          "Women and children first" is actually a bit of a myth. It seems to have been popularized by reports of the second officer aboard the Titanic asking "Hadn't we better get the women and children into the boats, sir?" The captain responded somewhat vaguely, resulting in needless deaths.

          Wrong. The second officer allegedly misunderstood that only women and children should board, while the captain meant that women and children should board first and men should board if there's room left. Which is pretty much the definition of "women and children first".

          Here's the relevant bit in Wikipedia:

          The First (Officer Murdoch) and Second (Officer Lightoller) officers interpreted the evacuation order differently; Murdoch took it to mean women and children first, while Lightoller took it to mean women and children only. Second Officer Lightoller lowered lifeboats with empty seats if there were no women and children waiting to board, while First Officer Murdoch allowed a limited number of men to board if all the nearby women and children had embarked.

          As you can see, men were fucked either way.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Whatever, as long as men still can't get pregnant. The thought of having my genitals ripped open as some kid rams his head through them does not appeal.

    • My favorite part was 'bassist'. Dirty string-thumpers.
    • Well,
      I can attest that men and women are the same first handed.
      The penis of my GF however is extrmely tiny, but I love it. And for some obscure reaons she gained some fat around her nipples, I hardly can give a good massage to her chest muscles.
      But alas, I lover her anyway!

      aos

    • Re:NO (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @10:31AM (#55244141)

      No. Not true. This story is lies. Fake news. Everybody knows that men and women are exactly the same at everything. Claiming otherwise is sexist and misogynist and racist and fascist and placist and bassist.

      Not necessarily fake news, but serving news.

      I know you were making a funny - a good one by the way - but there is an angle to the news.

      As feminism has convinced women for a long time that they don't need men, and as we now have more educated women than men, and no end of that trend in sight, single, educated women are hitting their 30's and suddenly realizing that their reproductive drive is on high alert. But there is a problem. They are having a hellava time meeting and sealing the deal with any male that they consider worthy. This is based on the inherent acceptability factor that the female of the species wants to marry up in class.

      So we are seeing a lot of educated women in a panic, freezing their eggs in hopes of finding a male who lives up to their standards. Some companies actually pay for this process. But that's a loser's game, because as they age, their value to the males of the species drops, and unless they plan on marrying someone much younger, there are not going to be too many 50 year old men who want to have children at that age.

      Now there are a couple solutions. Marry young and have children at a more physically appropriate age, then work your career, and the other is to make the educational environment less unpleasant for men. Having been through that, it is an issue when you are reminded every day of how terrible a sub-human you are. Because all nature versus nurture aside, women inherently call the shots on reproduction, and at present, have largely priced themselves out of the market.

      Back to the subject at hand. As many women panic over their declining fertility, and are taking some big efforts to try to artificially extend it, there is a social need to try to pin blame for the issue on the male of the species. The underlying message is "Grow up men" "stop being immature and we need fresh young sperm, because if you don't give it to us when you are young, any problems are your fault."

      Whereas the real issue is that if you want children, you don't wait until you are at an age when most earlier humans were grandparents or dead. We have had some success with the artificial extension of childhood, but cannot extend that much more without a lot of bad issues. My great grandparents were married at 13 years old, but they had to to have a good chance of raising children before they died.

      Today, it's the opposite. Some people are concerned they will die before having any children.

      • Women and feminists will almost certainly never be able to get women to get rid of hypergamy. They wanted to get rid of gender roles, and the more that happens, the more panicked women get.
        • Women and feminists will almost certainly never be able to get women to get rid of hypergamy. They wanted to get rid of gender roles, and the more that happens, the more panicked women get.

          Reminds me of when the Australian and American Women's teams played some 15 year old boys teams. The Australians were beat by a score of 7-0, and the American women were beat by an under 15 team in Dallas and fared a little better, losing by 5-2.

          This is not even to belittle the ladies teams. Women should compete in sports just like men. It is however, an illustration of the fallacy being taught to women today, that they are the physical equals of men in every way.

          We even see this today as some women a

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Wrong on two accounts.

        Feminism isn't about not needing men, it's about having a relationship with them that is a union of equals. If there is anyone rejecting this kind of relationship, it seems to be men wanting a more traditional marriages.

        As for women not thinking men are "worthy", it's actually just a combination of modern life making children unaffordable and children having a very negative effect on women's careers.

        • Wrong on two accounts.

          Feminism isn't about not needing men, it's about having a relationship with them that is a union of equals.

          That is your definition of feminism. And it's a really nice one. But are you so naive to say that is the only definition, or that anyone who has a different definition is somehow not a feminist? We've had this argument before, and you simply reject my researched proof. Fugiddaboudit. "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." I've heard that one a lot, and it doesn't sound like equality.

          If there is anyone rejecting this kind of relationship, it seems to be men wanting a more traditional marriages.

          Actually, if you ask them, they would just like to be treated well. But respect and lovingkindness with a membe

      • They are having a hellava time meeting and sealing the deal with any male that they consider worthy.

        They don't need a male that they consider worthy - they need sperm that they consider worthy.
        Hence sperm banks that seek out handsome, virile M.D. sperm, and not /. reader sperm.

        • They are having a hellava time meeting and sealing the deal with any male that they consider worthy.

          They don't need a male that they consider worthy - they need sperm that they consider worthy. Hence sperm banks that seek out handsome, virile M.D. sperm, and not /. reader sperm.

          Somewhere in this thread I posted about how they are having trouble finding sperm donors today, especially in the UK. They passed a law that allows the offspring of a sperm donor to contact them when they turn 18. And with some case law making a sperm donor financially responsible for a child conceived this way, A person would have to be mental or completely uninformed to volunteer for that abuse. So that sperm bank ended up with nine donors.

          It's worth noting that family court has only the interest of t

  • by Kunedog ( 1033226 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @01:06AM (#55242487)
    The more disposable gender is the better one to experiment with. You could lose a LOT of men to bad genes before it costs you same (raw) reproductive capacity of losing even 5% of women.
    • You didn't read the article title. "Fathers Pass On Four Times As Many New Genetic Mutations As Mothers, Says Study." This is about fathers, not sons.

      • You're right, I misunderstood. The gender of the kid should be irrelevant (unless the mutations were disproportionately on the Y chromosome).
    • by Ubi_NL ( 313657 ) <joris@ideeel.3.14nl minus pi> on Friday September 22, 2017 @02:56AM (#55242733) Journal

      eh yah, but that's completely unrelated to TFA. This is about mutation accumulation in germ cells (i.e. sperm). This mutation rate is not specific for the Y chromosome, thus the girl babies receive the mutations at the exact same rate as the boy babies.

      Basically all the article states is that mature egg cells accumulate fewer mutations than mature sperm cells, which is kinda obvious as their stem cells go through fewer cell divisions until they create the cell that actually becomes the germ cell.

      Really people, why is this modded up?

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      That's not the way to figure it. What you figure is the investment cost over evolutionary time.

      In most of our ancestral species the males did not support the children. So their cost was the cost of access to the female plus the cost of generating sperm. Females, OTOH, have the cost of supporting the fetus during pregnancy. The cost of birth. The cost of ovulation. Etc. This is a much higher cost, so they will be more careful about the production.

      It is essentially NEVER to an organisms benefit to gene

  • Not Reall Surprising (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NicknameUnavailable ( 4134147 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @01:08AM (#55242497)

    Women are more valuable from an evolutionary standpoint than men because they take so long to reproduce, whereas a single male can impregnate hundreds of women at a time.

    This means that while males are largely disposable, there is also significantly less room for women to deviate from the norm without running the risk of losing viability for their immediate family. Therefore males will deviate from the norm much more.

    This is why males tend to dominate the ultra-high and ultra-low intellect while the bell curve for female intelligence is much tighter, and similarly why children tend to take after their father's in terms of personality and aptitude: that's the edge version.

    • Possibly, but what has this to do with the mutation rate?
      • Possibly, but what has this to do with the mutation rate?

        Thought that was spelled out pretty clearly. Males are inherently more disposable and therefore are the place in which most deviations from the norm will take place, yielding extreme wins and extreme losses from a genetic standpoint. As it relates TFA, this means males will be passing along more mutations.

    • No. Males have more mutations because they produce exponentially more sex cells, leading to more chances for mutation. That's by far the most driving force behind mutation rates.
      • No. Males have more mutations because they produce exponentially more sex cells, leading to more chances for mutation. That's by far the most driving force behind mutation rates.

        You're comparing a "how?" and a "why?" - they are two different questions. Evolution concerns the "why?", the mechanisms of evolution concern the "how?"

    • by FeelGood314 ( 2516288 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @03:13AM (#55242771)
      You read the short summary incorrectly. They never said men have more mutations they said men pass on more mutations to their children, both to sons and daughters. Other than in their sperm men don't have more mutations than women.
      • You are probably right but if there is an excess of mutations in the male sex cells then that means that the Y chromosomes are on average more subject to mutations than the X chromosome. Another way to see the problem is to consider that the 'ancestors' of a Y chromosomes were all males while the 'ancestors' of a X chromosome were 1/3 males and 2/3 females. By 'ancestor', I of course mean from which parent that chromosome was inherited. So over multiple generations the Y chromosomes should accumulate more m

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      whereas a single male can impregnate hundreds of women at a time.

      Sounds like one hell of a gang-bang.

      This means that while males are largely disposable

      Not really, because particularly in prehistoric times women were quite dependent on men to ensure the survival of their children. Child birth was risky and often resulted in death, so having the father around increased the child's chances of survival. Since men where the primary hunters, with women tending to do more gathering, they were also reliant on the father for nutrients that only come from meat. Also, pregnancy hinders the ability to run away, so someone willing t

      • Since men where the primary hunters, with women tending to do more gathering
        Actually, while it is somewhat 'common sense', we absolutely have no evidence for that.

  • Sex Selection (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mentil ( 1748130 )

    This makes me wonder if men having substantially higher mutation rates than women is a result of sex selection: women tending to be more attracted to men whose genes mutate faster, probably reaching some 'optimum' point rather than having a runaway effect. There might be some actual way of detecting another's mutation rate, or it might have just manifested as women being attracted to older men.

    • Re:Sex Selection (Score:5, Insightful)

      by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @03:15AM (#55242777) Journal

      This makes me wonder if men having substantially higher mutation rates than women is a result of sex selection: women tending to be more attracted to men whose genes mutate faster,

      Probably not. Almost all "just so" stories about evolution (and biology in general) are wrong.

      A nice way to test your hypothesis would be to, say, do the experiment with the lab standards, mice, rats, zebrafish and drosophila. You could also both allow for choice and largely eliminate it.

    • If I were making wild guesses (which is fun!) I'd guess it's either because nature doesn't need many men and is often done with us earlier than women, or because some men tend to dominate and do more than their share of the impregnation.

    • You are treating evolution like it is some sort of planed design. Not all traits are for genetic survival. They are a lot of them that get passed on because it doesn’t kill the person before they can pass on to the next generation.
      The high rate of mutation is probably a numbers game as males are constantly making sperm vs woman who have a fixed supply of eggs. This fact may have little to do about survival as most mutations don’t do anything noticeable or will kill you.

  • In 20 comments all relevant was said. Before the troll brigade arrived. I've nothing to add.
    Bravo gentlemen!

  • The difference between men and women, genetically, comes down to the SRY gene and a few missing ones that makes the difference between the sex chrosome (X or Y). Meaning the difference would either have to be that the SRY gene somehow also causes mutations in sperm versus eggs, or more likely eggs are less likely to mutate than sperm are. Which is understandable, men's reproductive area, as such, is more exposed to radiation than women's (water does wonders for blocking ionizing radiation). Meaning sperm ar
  • This would have been a really good explanation for why mutants are only being noticed in the modern era in x-men.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      In a way, the second film had said that, when Bobby Drake (that should have appeared as Iceman, but it was decided otherwise...) came home with all the other that have escaped the Charles Xavier Institute attack, he reveals to his family that he is a mutant.

      When his father say to his mother "that comes from your side of the family", another character respond that no, that's the father that carries and pass the X Genes...

  • You need our wrigglers to keep things jumping!

  • Maybe that suit well with the concept of one leading male fertilizing multiple women. Get some help with extra variation.

    (4:1 would even fit the Islamic ratio of women per man.)

  • by FeelGood314 ( 2516288 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @03:20AM (#55242787)
    I lose faith in slashdot readers sometime. The study said nothing about X or Y chromosomes or that men had more mutations than women. It said fathers as they age pass on more mutations to BOTH their sons and daughters than mothers.
    • by Holi ( 250190 )
      I read the title and I guessed it was because we keep out genetic reproductive material externally where it is exposed to more possibility for damage.
  • The total entropy of any system can't decrease. This with mutations destroying our DNA, is nothing new. Researches have already for a long time been estimating for how long time the human race can continue until the increased entropy in our genes will give us too serious problems and we would die out if we don't manually correct by gene manipulation.

    The scary thing is that this is not in a far, far future. This is an accelerating process, and we are on the border to see a lot more problems within just a few

  • by redmid17 ( 1217076 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @08:40AM (#55243567)
    The same place where they have dating apps to confirm you aren't fucking your cousin? Please bring this study to some place normal like eastern Kentucky or a West Virginia holler. No way you could replicate it there!

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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