News FocusAMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGISTS

Older Dads Have Healthier Kids Than You Think

Science  04 May 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6081, pp. 539
DOI: 10.1126/science.336.6081.539

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Summary

Older fathers often get blamed for passing on genetic mutations to their children, causing some types of autism, schizophrenia, and other disorders. But new data presented at the meeting suggest that children of older fathers and grandfathers may inherit at least one advantage from aging patriarchs: longer telomeres, structures at the tips of chromosomes that may protect against aging and disease. And the effect is amplified over the generations: The paternal grandfather's age is associated with longer telomeres in his grandchildren, researchers reported in a talk.