Do Children of Teenage Fathers Have an Elevated Rate of DNA Mutations?

If you recall one of my previous posts about DNA mutations, I discussed briefly the difference between somatic and germ-line mutations as well as the various types of mutations and resulting consequences.

Recently, I came across a research article that suggests an elevated germ-line mutation rate in teenage fathers, thus leading to an unexpectedly high level of DNA mutations in the children born to teenage fathers.

Many studies have been conducted on the theory that male germ cells go through a higher number of cell divisions when compared to that of female germ cells, and that the higher number of paternal cell divisions leads to an increased DNA mutation rate. The paper suggests that the increased presence of DNA mutations in sperm cells of teenage boys could explain why their offspring might be at higher risk for a spectrum of disorders when compared to parents in their twenties.

It’s an interesting read! More information as well as the full article can be found at


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-LeAnne Noll, BS, MB(ASCP)CM is a molecular technologist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and was recognized as one of ASCP’s Top Five from the 40 Under Forty Program in 2015.

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