Your Dad's DNA Has A Greater Influence On You, So Blame Your Father For Your Bad Genes
Do you remember learning in high-school biology about how you get 50 percent of your DNA from each of your parents? It turns out this may not be exactly true. A new study published in Nature Genetics found that mice use more DNA coming from their fathers, and the researchers think this discovery also applies to humans. While you still inherit half of your DNA from each parent, in terms of how your body uses these genes, the traits from your father seem to be more present in your genetic expression (in other words, your life).
The study, conducted by scientists from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, utilized three "genetically diverse" inbred mice to breed nine kinds of hybrid mice. The university is home to the Collaborative Cross, which hosts the most genetically diverse group of mice on the planet, which is where these mice came from. Because of this, the mice have genetic ancestors spanning many different continents and corners of the Earth. The genetic diversity present in the mice population actually rivals humans, which is what makes them such great test subjects.
After these mice matured, they analyzed their DNA sequencing and determined how much of the subjects DNA came from their mother and their father. What they found was that genetic expression tends to favor the father, "...We discovered a new, genome-wide expression imbalance in favor of the dad in several hundred genes. This imbalance resulted in offspring whose brain gene expression was significantly more like their father’s," explained genetics professor James Crowley, one of the authors of the research.
In terms of what this could mean for your biology, this research is groundbreaking because of the important role genetics plays in many facets of health and wellbeing, including inheriting diseases and mental health. Fernando Pardo-Manuel de Villena, senior author of the paper, explains how the genetic expression factor works, "So imagine that a certain kind of mutation is bad. If inherited from the mother, the gene wouldn't be expressed as much as it would be if it were inherited from the father. So, the same bad mutation would have different consequences in disease if it were inherited from the mother or from the father," he says. This means the genes you inherit from your father have a greater influence on your genetic expression, so he would be a better indication of how your DNA may influence your life.
This new research could result in groundbreaking findings in disease prevention, since everything from obesity to cancer can be traced to your genetic structure. Now that scientists know which parent has a greater influence on your genetic structure, more exact insights into treatment and prevention are likely to result.
The next time someone says that you're "just like your mom," tell them that actually, your father has a greater influence on your traits!
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