Scientists have found that a disrupted DNA in cells may be the reason why females tend to outlive males in much of the animal species including human beings.
Researchers from Monash University in Australia and Lancaster University in the UK found that male fruit flies contained mutations in their mitochondrial DNA affecting their age and life. Scientists conducted the study on fruit flies because their biological processes are very similar to that in other animals including human beings.
Senior author Damian Dowling, a research fellow in the Monash School of Biological Sciences said, "All animals possess mitochondria, and the tendency for females to outlive males is common to many different species. Our results therefore suggest that the mitochondrial mutations we have uncovered will generally cause faster male aging across the animal kingdom. Intriguingly, these same mutations have no effects on patterns of aging in females. They only affect males."
Mitochondria, which are special subunits of cells, combine sugar and oxygen into adenosine triphosphate and allow ells to use the energy. Mitochondrial DNA is passed down from generation to generation and this allows screen out mutations, which are harmful to males.
Dowling also said that joining the new study with earlier studies indicates that mitochondria are hotspots for mutations that affect heath in males.
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