JUN 29, 2016 06:55 AM PDT

Mitochondria From Mom


Scientists have found a clue to why one type of DNA is passed down to children via their mothers rather than fathers. It's always been know that mitochondria is carried only on the mother's side, but exactly why has not been clear. New research is now shedding light on this process.

DNA inside energy-producing organelles called mitochondria is destroyed in a dad's sperm shortly after it fertilizes an egg, researchers report online June 23 inScience. A protein called CPS-6 slices away the mitochondrial DNA in the male sperm so that the DNA can't make the proteins that the mitochondria need to power the cell. Lingering paternal mitochondrial DNA could actually be a danger to developing embryos, the researchers say. Using electron microscopy, the team at the University of Colorado at Boulder was able to see the process and how it changes the cells.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
NOV 19, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 19, 2019
These Are Some of Nature's Brightest Animals
Lots of people are quick to dismiss animal intelligence as inferior to human intelligence, but let the record show that plenty of animals have earned a rep...
NOV 19, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 19, 2019
Watch a Pod of Dolphins Play Catch With a Pufferfish
Playing catch with a ball of some sort is a popular past time for humans, but as it would seem, even dolphins might enjoy partaking in similar behaviors. I...
NOV 19, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 19, 2019
What do a Wing Nut and a Tennis Racket Have in Common?
In 1985 during a mission to rescue the space station Salyut-7, Soviet astronaut Vladimir Dzhanibekov observed something rather strange. A free-flowing wing...
NOV 19, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 19, 2019
How a Venus Flytrap Works
Most people think of plants as being at the bottom of the food chain, but the Venus Flytrap defies this oversimplified way of thinking by devouring meat. W...
NOV 19, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 19, 2019
Why the Search for Other Planets is So Captivating
Astronomers are continuously searching for other planets, whether those reside right here in the solar system with us, or far away in another stellar syste...
NOV 19, 2019
Cardiology
NOV 19, 2019
Parkinson's Disease is Present in the Blood
Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system. Often starting with a barely noticeable tremor in one hand, the disease affects a...
Loading Comments...