There's Something Curious About Paternal-Age Effects

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

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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.