The age girls hit puberty can be affected by both parents, study finds
Steve Connor is the Science Editor of The Independent. He has won many awards for his journalism, including five-times winner of the prestigious British science writers’ award; the David Perlman Award of the American Geophysical Union; twice commended as specialist journalist of the year in the UK Press Awards; UK health journalist of the year and a special merit award of the European School of Oncology for his investigative journalism. He has a degree in zoology from the University of Oxford and has a special interest in genetics and medical science, human evolution and origins, climate change and the environment.
Wednesday 23 July 2014
The age of puberty in girls is affected by the kind of “imprinted” genes that they inherit from their mothers and fathers, suggesting that one or other of the parents has a bigger than expected influence on the age of a daughter’s sexual maturity.
Findings from an international study on more than 180,000 women identified 123 genetic variations associated with the timing of when girls experienced their first menstrual cycle.
Six of these variants were clustered within the imprinted regions of the genome which means they are switched on or off depending on whether they are inherited from the mother or the father.
“Normally, our inherited physical characteristics reflect a roughly average combination of our parents' genomes, but imprinted genes place unequal weight on the influence of either the mother's or the father's genes,” said John Perry of the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at Cambridge University.
“Our findings imply that in a family, one parent may more profoundly affect puberty timing in their daughters than the other parent," said Dr Perry, the lead author of the study published in the journal Nature.
Some of the genes are only active when inherited from the father, some only active when inherited from the mother and as both types affect the timing of puberty, it indicates a “biological conflict between the parents over the child’s rate of development”, the study suggested.
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
The City of the Monkey God: Archaeologists claim to have found city lost for 1,000 years in remote Honduran jungle
Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
London property boom built on dirty money
Becky Watts: Stepbrother and his girlfriend named locally as two arrested on suspicion of murder
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...
£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...