Genetics of mother and baby determine birth weight

Landmark Study: Largest-ever genetic study on birth weight reveals 190 new links between genes and birth weight in babies.

Collaborative Effort: Led by universities of Exeter, Queensland, Oxford, and Cambridge, involving 230,069 mothers and 321,223 individuals.

Mother vs. Baby Genetics: New statistical methods separate mother's and baby's genetic effects on birth weight, uncovering their complex interplay.

Health Implications: Small or large birth weight correlates with higher risk of birth complications and later-life metabolic diseases.

Genetic Contributions: Baby's genes directly affect birth weight, while a quarter of identified genetic effects come from the mother's genes, influencing the womb environment.

Maternal Influence: Mother's genes affect the womb environment, influencing factors like glucose levels, impacting the baby's growth.

Complex Relationships: Some genetic variations push birth weight in the same direction for mother and baby, while others have opposing effects, akin to a "tug of war."

Future Implications: Insights can help ensure healthier birth weights and understand later-life health outcomes, highlighting the importance of international research collaborations.

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