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Sci-Tech

Men are the weaker sex, scientists claim

Technically Incorrect: Hate to tell you, boys, but you get a bum deal from your mum when it comes to some of your DNA, and that can make you more susceptible than your sisters to fatal diseases.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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There is no salvation for the weak man. Mr. Bean/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's hard out here for a man.

No, really. I've been one for a very long time, and just look at me.

I've searched high and low for something to explain my wayward, erratic ways, and finally an excuse has arrived.

It seems that men are simply the weaker sex. There you have it. We are inherently weak.

This information comes to me from the Telegraph, which offered that there is something scientists call "the mother's curse."

This involves certain DNA being passed along by moms that can be nasty to their sons but not their daughters. The researchers believe that this might explain why men have shorter lives than women.

This nasty, debilitating, so-called mitochondrial DNA might enhance men's propensity for everything from heart disease to nervous ailments and even infertility. Mitochondria, you may recall from that long-ago biology class, help provide cells with the energy they need to get through the day, and also pack a bit of DNA as a kind of a side job.

The Daily Mail quoted professor Neil Gemmell, from New Zealand's University of Otago, who spoke at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology's annual meeting in Lisbon at the weekend.

He said: "It's an irony, or a gross evolutionary injustice -- I don't know which -- that male fertility is held to ransom by a female-inherited molecule."

Injustice, surely. Injustice. Yes, injustice.

Gemmell also said, according to the Telegraph: "This is why you can blame your mother for absolutely everything. I think of males as being an evolutionary cul-de-sac in terms of mitochondrial DNA."

Over to you, Freudians.