Study Shows That the Father and Mother’s Genes Fight Over Nutrition While Fetus Is Still in Womb

The University of Cambridge recently conducted a study that revealed that a tug of war between the parent’s genes could result in a fetus’s poor development. In addition, the study identified the sending of a crucial signal from the fetus to the placenta for nutrients.

The placenta is usually a vital organ developed with both the parent’s genes. As the fetus develops, it sends a message to the mother via the blood vessels in the placenta for nutrients.

How the study authors conducted their research

The study revealed that at least 10% to 15% of fetuses develop poorly due to minor blood vessels present in the placenta. The blood vessels in the placenta are supposed to grow to an approximate length of 320 kilometers as at term.

A previous study reported utilizing genetically engineered rodents to identify how signals were transmitted from the child to the mother. The study also revealed that the signal assists in developing the blood vessels that are present in the placenta.

The fetus growth is impacted if communication between the mother and fetus is not working

Dr. Lonel Sandovichi, one of the leading authors, stated that the healthy blood vessels in the placenta are responsible for the fetus’ development and growth as much as the fetus does. Dr. Sandovichi further stated that if the communication between the mother and fetus is disrupted, its growth is affected as there is no expansion of blood cells.

The study revealed that the signal transmitted via the umbilical cord to the blood vessels in the placenta is called IGF2. The hormone constantly increases from 28 weeks of gestation to term. However, too much of the signal is associated with excessive growth, while fewer levels are associated with less growth.

The excess or deficiency of the hormone might cause severe repercussions during birth and even death. For the babies who are over or underdeveloped, there is a chance that adults increase their chances of heart conditions and diabetes, among other illnesses.

The study authors used mice as their study pets due to their genetic structure’s similarity to human beings. Therefore, it is easy to mimic the results found in mice with those in human beings.

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