Why Older Fathers Pass On More Genetic Mutations to Their Offspring

The male reproductive system serves as a hotspot for the emergence of new genes. Perhaps that explains why more new mutations are inherited from fathers than from mothers. It doesn’t, however, clarify why older fathers pass on more mutations than younger ones do. The mechanisms that might underlie these well-documented trends have long remained a mystery. Now, a new study published January 12, 2023 in Nature Ecology & Evolution by Rockefeller University scientists describes why older male fruit flies are more likely to pass mutations on to their offspring, potentially shining a light on inherited-disease risk in humans. The article is titled “Transcriptional and Mutational Signatures of the Drosophila Ageing Germline.”
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