Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Closer Links to the Genetics of Fraternal Twins
This article explains the path scientists have taken to identify the increasing factor. They've collected and compared single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of 2000 mothers of fraternal twins to SNPs of mothers who had not had twins. Researchers narrowed the results down to find two SNPs that increase a woman's likelihood of having fraternal twins by about 30%!
One of the SNPs is known to cause an increase in the hormone involved in the production of follicles, which are the sites within the ovaries that house and mature the eggs before they are released from the ovary. If the levels of this hormone is too high, the mother has an increased chance of releasing multiple eggs.
The second SNP is a bit more complicated. This one in particular is a gene that alters the way molecules signal to each other. This gene in turn, called SMAD3, has an affect on the way that the ovaries respond to the hormone coded by the other SNP. This same gene has also been linked to osteoarthritis. Scientists are planning to conduct further research on how mothers react differently due to the SMAD3 gene. These results presented were only the first step.
It's really awesome that this group of scientists have made such progress on identifying the genetic components behind having fraternal twins. This is the closest that scientists have yet to come in relation to this subject matter. This is not exactly the most critical research to be done, as there usually aren't complications or anything wrong with birthing fraternal twins. However its still always great to hear about the evolution of genetic findings in all aspects of life.