Humans may take on traits from both parents, but it turns out our fathers are more responsible for our biological identities.
According to USA Today, researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine conducted a study on mice and found the genes of male parents to have a larger influence on the altering of the offsprings' genes.
The team monitored the genetic mutations of nine different types of mice, which had been crossbred.
They discovered that, although an equal amount of genetic mutations are inherited by both parents, the changes usually involve more of the father's DNA.
Study author James Crowley told Science Daily,
This imbalance resulted in offspring whose brain-gene expression was significantly more like their father's.
These findings suggest that a disease inherited by one's mother might not be as dangerous as if it had been inherited from the father.
Cancer, Alzheimer's and heart disease are just some of the conditions caused by mutations handed down by parents.
UNC genetics professor and senior study author Fernando Pardo-Manuel de Villena said the research "opens the door to an entirely new area of exploration in human genetics," according to Time.
It may also cause doctors to consider the parent from whom a mutation was inherited when studying genetic diseases.
Nicholas Katsanis, director of the Center for Human Disease Modeling at Duke University, told USA Today,
The paper is very interesting and it has offered us new insights and a new perspective on the regulation of gene expression. But it leaves many open questions and that's a good thing, not a bad thing.
This study was originally published in the journal Nature Genetics.