PerspectiveDevelopment

There's Something Curious About Paternal-Age Effects

Science  01 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5633, pp. 606-607
DOI: 10.1126/science.1088552

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Summary

Gene mutation rates are higher in males than in females and increase with paternal age. In his Perspective, Crow explains unexpected results from a study of a congenital disease called Apert's syndrome in which the likelihood of a child developing the disease increases with the age of the father ( Goriely et al.). The results of the new work imply that rather than sperm having a higher mutation rate, the harmful mutation may be positively selected perhaps because it confers some benefit within the cellular environment of the testis.