Gene clue to male infertility

A small set of genes located within the power-plants of our cells – the mitochondria – my help scientists unravel the secrets of male infertility. Around one in 20 men are infertile, but despite the best efforts of scientists, in many cases the underlying causes of infertility have remained a mystery.

Most of our genes are subjected to a rigorous quality-control process that prevents harmful mutations from freely accumulating within the gene pools of most species. If nasty mutations appear, then the individuals that harbor these mutations tend to do very poorly when it comes to reproducing and surviving, and hence these mutations are kept at low levels within the general population.

But while this vital screening process works well for most of our genes, it is prone to breaking down in the set of genes housed inside of the mitochondria.

Read more at Monash University