By cracking the genetic code of an entire family, scientists learn genetic mutations aren't commonly passed on to children.
- Parents pass on fewer mutations than scientists had thought.
- Instead of 75 genetic mutations, new estimates show parents pass on 30 to their children.
- The results could pave the way to new research to pinpoint diseases' causes.
Scientists have for the first time unlocked the genetic code of an entire family, and made a startling discovery -- that parents pass on fewer mutations than previously thought.
Scientists had long believed that each parent passed on some 75 genetic mutations to their children.
But the result of research by a team at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle and the University of Utah found this was nowhere near the case, according to their study published in Thursday's edition of Science Express.
In fact, after studying the genetic sequencing of an entire family -- mother, father, daughter and son -- researchers estimate that each parent passes on 30 mutations for a total of 60 to their children.