Healthy babies & X-Men

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healthy babies and X-Men

For a long time birth defects and gene mutations in newborns have been blamed on 'old eggs'.  The older a mother is, the higher the risk of genetic disorders such as Down's Syndrome.  Thankfully, there is now a lot of information available on the differences between chronological age and biological age, as well as information on how to lead a healthy lifestyle pre-conception and improve the chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby.  New research has revealed that many gene mutations can come from the fathers.  Problems that are associated with mutant sperm include autism and Apert syndrome but illnesses such as schizophrenia may also be related.  It seems that in every male that produces 100 million sperm cells per day,  there is a  mutation process going on that churns out mutant sperm along the way.  With age, the process accelerates like a runaway train, and a forty year old father is 50% per likely to father an autistic child than a 20 year old.  Research has also shown that statistically some of these mutant sperm get to fertilize an egg more often than they should do.  There is also an X-men factor, as it seems that this process  may be how humans began to grow bigger brains and left their primate ancestors behind. Over time the mutant genes for bigger brains that occurred in male sperm were passed on preferentially.  However, most mutant genes are not beneficial and the increases in autism and schizophrenia side by side with the increasing age of first time parents  suggests that freezing sperm when a man is young may be a good idea.  On the other hand, putting eggs and sperm 'on ice' for later is not exactly nature's way.  Perhaps a bit more research on how both parents can ensure that they are as healthy as possible before conception is the way to have a healthy babies in the future.  

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