Gene-swapping in human sperm and egg cells can increase genetic mutations in children

Cell undergoing meiosis
To form an egg or sperm cell, a cell splits into two during meiosis so each resulting cell only contains half the chromosomes of the original. (Credit: Ed Reschke/Getty Images)

Science

January 2019

When parents pass their genes down to their children, they give the kids remixed versions of their own chromosomes. And that remixing of chromosomes can increase the chances that the child’s DNA will also mutate in certain locations, according to a high-precision study of the DNA of more than 150,000 people. The data in this study may be helpful for understanding mutation rates in humans and measuring how quickly we are evolving.