All Woman

Children born to older fathers may live longer: study

AFP

Monday, July 16, 2012    

Print this page Email A Friend!


THE children and grandchildren of men who reproduced later in life could enjoy life-extending genetic benefits, including being able to father children at an older age, a new study suggests.

Researchers at Northwestern University believe the process represents an unusually rapid evolutionary adaptation in which telomeres — DNA found at the ends of chromosomes — lengthen, which is thought to promote healthy aging.

"If your father and grandfather were able to live and reproduce at a later age, this might predict that you yourself live in an environment that is somewhat similar — an environment with less accidental deaths or in which men are only able to find a partner at later ages," said Dan Eisenberg, lead author of the study.

"In such an environment, investing more in a body capable of reaching these late ages could be an adaptive strategy from an evolutionary perspective."

After analysing the DNA of 1,779 young adults and their mothers in the Philippines, researchers found that children of older fathers not only inherit longer telomeres, but that the effect is cumulative across generations.

The researchers do not advise men to reproduce at later ages, as other research has shown that doing so raises the risk of passing on genetic mutations that can cause miscarriages or other health problems.

Co-author Christopher Kuzawa said more research would be necessary to see if the longer telomeres inherited from older fathers and grandfathers reduce the health problems and ailments that come with age.

"Based upon our findings, we predict that this will be the case, but this is a question to be addressed in future studies," he said.

The study appeared in the June 11-15 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

ADVERTISEMENT

POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

Would you enjoy a weekend away by yourself, without the company of your partner?
Yes
No


View Results »

Results published weekly in All Woman


ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT