Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research reveals a cellular basis for a male biological clock

26.11.2002


Researchers at the University of Washington have discovered a cellular basis for what many have long suspected: Men, as well as women, have a reproductive clock that ticks down with age.

A recent study revealed that sperm in men older than 35 showed more DNA damage than that of men in the younger age group. In addition, the older men’s bodies appeared less efficient at eliminating the damaged cells, which could pass along problems to offspring.

"When you talk about having children, there has been a lot of focus on maternal age," said Narendra Singh, research assistant professor in the UW Department of Bioengineering and lead researcher on the study. "I think our study shows that paternal age is also relevant."



Charles Muller, with the UW Department of Urology and a collaborator on the study, recently presented the findings at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Seattle.

In the study, researchers recruited 60 men, age 22 to 60, from laboratory and clinical groups. A computerized semen analysis was performed for each of the subjects, looking for breaks in sperm cell DNA and evidence of apoptosis, or cell suicide. Normally, when something goes irreparably wrong in a cell, that cell is programmed to kill itself as a means of protecting the body.

The researchers found that men over age 35 had sperm with lower motility and more highly damaged DNA in the form of DNA double-strand breaks. The older group also had fewer apoptotic cells – an important discovery, Singh said.

"A really key factor that differentiates sperm from other cells in the body is that they do not repair their DNA damage," he said. "Most other cells do."

As a result, the only way to avoid passing sperm DNA damage to a child is for the damaged cells to undergo apoptosis, a process that the study indicates declines with age.

"So in older men, the sperm are accumulating more damage, and those severely damaged sperm are not being eliminated," Singh said. "That means some of that damage could be transmitted to the baby." More research is needed to determine just what the risks are. Other reseachers in the study included Richard E. Berger, UW professor of urology. The work was supported by the Paul G. Allen Foundation for Medical Research.


For more information, contact Singh at 206- 685-2060 or narendra@u.washington.edu, or
Muller at 206-543-9504 or cmuller@u.washington.edu

Rob Harrill | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.washington.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Making fuel out of thick air
08.12.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht ‘Spying’ on the hidden geometry of complex networks through machine intelligence
08.12.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

Im Focus: A transistor of graphene nanoribbons

Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."

Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making fuel out of thick air

08.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Rules for superconductivity mirrored in 'excitonic insulator'

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>