Scientists in USA and Finland have discovered a gene linked to premature births. They hope to eventually develop tests that could confirm the risk of early delivery in women. According to BBC, one out of ten babies in UK are born prematurely, i.e. before 37th week of pregnancy. It has a potential for health problems. The team of scientific researchers based their work on human evolution for finding out genes linked to premature birth.
It was conceptualised that there must have been an evolutionary cause for adaptation to shifting the time of birth. 150 genes were identified as showing tendencies for what was termed “accelerated evolution”. The next step in this analysis was the confirmation of this hypothesis through comparison of these genes in Finnish mothers. The hypothesis was found to be verifiable as the recognised genes were shown to result in premature births.
This research was carried out at Vanderbilt University, University of Helsinki and Washington University. Professor Louis Muglia, deptt. of Paediatrics, Vanderbilt University revealed the real purpose of undertaking this study. They wanted to be able to predict which women is at a greater risk of having premature delivery and thus, take special care to prevent it. Spokesperson of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Professor Ronald Lamont praised the research and the group of people who had initiated it. He is of the opinion that premature births could be a confluence of genetic and environmental factors.
It is believed that this research will be great contribution towards identifying how risky is it for a woman to have premature births. It will come with a percentage figure. In another study, the researchers of Washington State University say that they have recognized the reason behind miscarriage and birth defects. They say that it is due to production of certain types of eggs. Relationship between number of chromosomes and eggs was studied.
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