Aarhus Universitets segl

BiRC talk: “The “faulty male” hypothesis: implications for evolution and disease”?

Professor Matthew Hahn, Department of Biology and Department of Computer Science, Indiana University Bloomington, USA

Oplysninger om arrangementet


Tirsdag 26. september 2023,  kl. 14:00 - 15:00


Faculty Club (1870-816)

Biological differences between males and females lead to many differences in physiology, disease, and overall health. One of the most prominent disparities is in the number of germline mutations passed to offspring: human males transmit three times as many mutations as do females. While the classic explanation for this pattern invokes differences in post-puberty germline replication between the sexes, recent whole-genome evidence in humans and other mammals has cast doubt on this mechanism. In this talk, I review recent work that is inconsistent with a replication-driven model of male-biased mutation, and propose an alternative, “faulty male” hypothesis. Importantly, I suggest that the new model for male-biased mutation may also help to explain several pronounced differences between the sexes in cancer, aging, and DNA repair. Although the detailed contributions of genetic, epigenetic, and hormonal influences of biological sex on mutation remain to be fully understood, a reconsideration of the mechanisms underlying these differences will lead to a deeper understanding of evolution and disease.