Did you know this? Well, I guess many of you know that sex has awesome benefits, and interestingly, this particular benefit may be one of the best ones and obviously one of the most propagated — starting today.
Sex isn’t always that easy to go by, though many enjoy it, it actually takes a lot of effort and a consenting adult to get the best experience. Researchers from Stirling University may have gotten a solution to the long-standing question of why many animals reproduce sexually rather than asexually, and that could be because it does boost a generation’s resistance to parasites.
Many living things actually reproduce asexually, so we may not conclude that the ‘sex’ used in this context actually covers them; things like bacteria and bananas that generally reproduce themselves may be prone to diseases than others that are results of sexual relation between two parents.
It will also interest you to know that most asexual living things are actually females, and all their springs end up being females, but that isn’t the case with organisms that reproduce sexually. These actually end up having the ability to give birth to both male and females, and that means their sexual colonies grow at a pretty slow pace compared to asexual organisms.
The research was conducted using waterflea which reproduces both sexually and asexually. The team then collected both types of offspring and exposed them to parasites that had affected their parents. The results showed that sexually reproduced offspring were much more resistant to infections than those reproduced asexually, and that was pretty cool.
The reason behind this was actually because clonal offspring are genetically identical to their single parents, and so any parasite that infects the parent can be infectious to all subsequent generations, but in the case of sexually reproduced organisms, there is genetic mixing, and that leads to variations among offspring, so future generations will be immune to parasites that their parents may have succumbed to.
According to the lead author of the research, Stuart Auld, “by comparing clonal and sexual daughters from the same mothers, we found that sexually reproduced offspring gets less sick than offspring that were reproduced asexually. This can explain why sex persists in the natural world in spite of the costs.”