Feeds

Older sperm produce more dwarves

The male biological clock

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Scientists have found that the genetic quality of sperm decreases with age.

A study at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory at Berkeley found that DNA can fragment in older men and the frequency of a mutation which causes dwarfism rises.

The work, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used samples from 97 volunteers aged 22 to 80. The team "filtered" the sperm using a technique called flow cytometry, which can detect damaged DNA. Dwarfism was identified by an amplification technique sensitive to mutated copies of the gene.

They found that the risk of a man passing on a mutation causing dwarfism rises by about two per cent each year, and broader likelihood of older men fathering a successful pregnancy falls away with the DNA fragmentation.

Co-lead author Barbara Eskenazi said: "We know that women have a biological time clock. Our research suggests that men too have a biological time clock - only it is different. Men seem to have a gradual rather than an abrupt change in fertility and in the potential to produce viable healthy offspring."

Scientists have long known that older eggs are more likely to suffer large scale abnormalities across large sections of DNA or whole chromosomes, as in Down Syndrome. The researchers did not find that this kind of genetic problem increases with the father's age.

Co-lead author of the study Andrew Wryobek warned men to be aware their age could affect their children. He said: "This study shows that men who wait until they're older to have children are not only risking difficulties conceiving, they could also be increasing the risk of having children with genetic problems." ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Melting permafrost switches to nasty, high-gear methane release
Result? 'Way more carbon being released into the atmosphere as methane'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.