OREANDA-NEWS Scientists from the University of Exeter and their colleagues at their other institutions have come to the conclusion that the baby’s own genes decide when to be born. Details of the scientific work are published in the journal Nature Communications.

Until now, researchers believed that the timing of childbirth is primarily determined by maternal genes and environmental factors. Now a new study has revealed a relationship between the baby’s own genes and the time of birth. Scientists began by analyzing the genetic information of 84,689 children from 20 different cohorts in eight countries. It is noted that the emphasis was not placed on any particular hypothesis, all chromosomes were studied and more than 7.5 million genetic variants were studied. As a result, in a small area of ​​the 2nd chromosome, a clear statistical relationship was revealed between the general genetic variant in infants and the duration of labor. By studying the corresponding variations in this area, the researchers found that children can be divided into three groups that are slightly different in terms of genetics. Babies from the first group were born on average about nine hours earlier than children from the second, who themselves were born on average nine hours earlier than newborns from the third group.

“Now we have established with great confidence that a specific place in the fetal genome has a biological effect that affects the duration of pregnancy. This small region on the 2nd chromosome is especially interesting because it contains a group of genes of the so-called family of interleukins-1, which produce inflammatory cytokines. It is known that in the days and hours before delivery, they play a central role in the activation of the uterus and rupture of the membranes, the occurrence of contractions,” the scientists explained.