Sunday, November 1, 2009

Testicular Tumors May Explain Why Some Diseases Are More Common In Children Of Older Fathers

Summary: Recent research has shown that there is a surprising link between certain severe childhood diseases and testicular tumors occurring in older men. The research says that although the original mutations occur rarely in sperm producing cells, they encourage the mutant cells to divide and multiply. When the cell divides, it copies the mutation to each daughter cell, and the clump of mutant sperm producing cells expands over time. Hence, the number of sperm carrying this mutation also increases as men get older. This raises the risk to older fathers of having affected children.
These mutations might contribute to diseases like breast cancer, autism and Schizophrenia etc.

Classroom Strategy: The research can be introduced in the class when students learn the steps of meiosis. Students can do research and gather information. The research project can be given to a group of four students. They may share their information on a wiki page and present it to the whole class.

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