About one in eight had twin embryos, which did not survive to maturity. In the future, there may be a simple cheek swab test that can reveal if you belong to this group.
Jenny van Dongen In VU Amsterdam, the Netherlands, her colleague finds that identical twins have a pattern of changes characteristic of DNA, known as epigenetic changes, not found in people without twin embryos. I found that. These fluctuations occur early in pregnancy and continue into adulthood.
Epigenetic changes are chemical modifications of DNA that help keep genes on or off. In early pregnancy, the embryo goes through a band of such changes and programs different cells into different parts of the body.
Van Dongen wondered if this process works differently in multiple pregnancies.About 1 in 100 births in the world is a twinHowever, studies show that 12% of people may have twin embryos that did not survive at some point during pregnancy.This may be called Vanishing twin syndrome, There may be visible debris.
The researchers examined four existing epigenetic studies of twins in the United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands, and Finland, where either blood samples or cheek swabs were taken to collect DNA samples. They found 834 DNA regions with different epigenetic patterns in sing and single births.
Monozygotic twins are formed when very early embryos divide into two because the cells do not adhere to each other, and some of the epigenetic changes found in this study are due to genes involved in cell adhesion. It had an impact. “We may have identified the mechanism by which cells divide,” says Van Dongen. “These changes can also occur after the cells have separated.”
Further development should allow us to create a genetic test to determine if you once had twin embryos, says Van Dongen. Companies wishing to commercialize their research need to improve their accuracy. For example, if someone had an identical twin embryo at some point during pregnancy, Van Dongen says the current test has a 70% chance of being positive. In addition, tests based on this study did not detect anyone with identical twin embryos.
“I’m still not sure if the association will be maintained as we get more data, but this is a very interesting starting point,” he said. Richard Mihan At the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom.
Journal reference: Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-021-25583-7
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Genetics: Tests can show if you had twins that didn’t survive
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