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Mutations linked to paternal age

A human genetic study suggests mutations in the sperm of older fathers could influence disease in their offspring. Whole-genome sequencing of 78 individuals and their parents identified an average of 63.2 new mutations per person per generation. The number of mutations was higher in individuals sired by older fathers than in individuals with younger fathers. Next steps include determining the role of these new mutations in diseases such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia. (see deCode-ing autism, page 6)

SciBX 5(34); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.913
Published online Aug. 30, 2012

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Kong, A. et al. Nature; published online Aug. 22, 2012;
Contact: Kári Stefánsson, deCode genetics ehf, Reykjavik, Iceland