Scientists say they've mapped the entire genomes of 91 sperm from one man, the first time such gene mapping has been done in a human gamete (sperm or egg cell).
The research gives a glimpse into recombination -- the process by which DNA mixes to create offspring that carry with them traits from parents and grandparents, the Stanford University scientists explained.
"We were able to generate an individual recombination map and mutation rate for each of several sperm from one person," study co-author Barry Behr, director of Stanford's in vitro fertilization laboratory, said in a university news release. "Now we can look at a particular individual, make some calls about what they would likely contribute genetically to an embryo, and perhaps even diagnose or detect potential problems."
The findings were published in the journal Cell.
Until now, scientists had only been able look to population-wide studies to try and gauge how often recombination happened in sperm and eggs cells, and how complicated the process might be, the Stanford team stated.
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