From “We Are All Mutants: First Direct Whole-Genome Measure of Human Mutation Predicts 60 New Mutations in Each of Us,” (ScienceDaily, June 12, 2011), a study involving four adults and one child, we learn:
Each one of us receives approximately 60 new mutations in our genome from our parents. This striking value is reported in the first-ever direct measure of new mutations coming from mother and father in whole human genomes.[ … ]
Mutations that occur in sperm or egg cells will be ‘new’ mutations not seen in our parents.
Although most of our variety comes from reshuffling of genes from our parents, new mutations are the ultimate source from which new variation is drawn. Finding new mutations is extremely technically challenging as, on average, only 1 in every 100 million letters of DNA is altered each generation.
A surprise was the considerable variation in families, as to whether most mutations arose from the father or the mother. In theory, the father was favoured as a source of mutations because of “ the additional number of times that the genome needs to be copied to make a sperm, as opposed to an egg.”
Assuming the results hold up, what would they suggest about human evolution?