Tuesday, October 09, 2007

An Excellent Article on the male biological clock by Mark Teich in PYSCHOLOGY TODAY

He nails it. Every high school and college should use this to teach about autism and other de novo /sporadic genetic disease

A must read------- the whole article!

A Man's Shelf Life

By:Mark Teich
Page 2 of 4
Male versus Female Mutations
"Scientists have long known that advanced paternal age (like increased maternal age) played some role in fertility problems and birth defects. Yet because the reports mainly involved children who died before birth or who had extremely rare disorders, no one really rang the alarm. Now, with new studies linking the father's age to relatively frequent, serious conditions like autism, schizophrenia, and Down syndrome, the landscape is shifting.
Women have unfairly borne the brunt of the blame for birth defects. When the conditions were familial, passed on through chromosomal lineage, women were somehow widely believed culpable, even though such defects can be traced to either partner. "But what we're finding now is that in humans as well as in other mammals, when there's a new genetic change—called 'de novo or sporadic point mutation'—it almost always happens in the male parent," says Dolores Malaspina, chair of psychiatry at New York University Medical Center. And these de novo mutations increase in frequency with the age of the male parent."



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