Majority of Mutations Inherited by Children Come from the Paternal Side

Majority of mutations inherited by children come from the father

A recent study that examined the entire genomes of 14,000 Iceleandic people has found that fathers pass on 4 times as many genetic mutations to their children than mothers do, meaning the majority of new mutations that children inherit come from the paternal side, rather than the maternal reported. 

De novo mutations are changes in the genetic code that occur when mistakes in the DNA of the cell cells occur as they're being replicated. These changes don't affect the parents in anyway, but could potentially cause issues for their children. 

Men are more likely to pass on more mutations because of the large volume of sperm they produce over the course of their lives, while women are born with all the eggs they will ever produce.

"De novo or new mutations provide an important part of the substrate of evolution, launching a constant flow of new versions of the human genome into the environment," lead study author Kari Stafansson explained. "However, they are also believed to be responsible for the majority of cases of rare diseases of childhood. Providing a comprehensive catalog of such mutations from across an entire population is therefore not just scientifically interesting but also an important contribuation to improving rare disease diagnostics."

Read the full study in Nature.