29 November 2018

Mitochondrial DNA sometimes is inherited from fathers

"A piece of high school genetics, relied on for many sorts of genetic testing, has been found to have exceptions. Although mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is normally received from the mother, three families have been identified where people received some of their mtDNA, three-quarters in the most extreme case, from their father. The finding may change the way we treat mitochondrial diseases and brings genetic testing for maternal ancestry into question...

Some plants, algae, and yeast get their mtDNA from their fathers, but the relevance to humans is questionable. Cases of partially paternal mtDNA have been seen in fruit flies, and more relevantly mice and sheep. Claims of paternal mtDNA inheritance have been made before, but most turned out to have been errors caused by mislabeling of samples or contamination in the lab. Reflecting the extraordinary nature of her claims, Luo had all sequencing independently conducted at two labs using different techniques and separate blood samples."
Further information at IFL Science.


  1. You know, my late father, a physician, used to say that there would not be any more important discoveries in medicine, that we knew everything of relevance.
    I wonder what is it that is so enticing in such complacency.

    1. I remember when I was in high school (1960s), my chemistry professor once told the class that when HE was in school, it was possible to know "all about" chemistry AND physics AND [some other hard science], and then noted that "that wasn't possible anymore."


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