Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School, along with collaborators from research institutions across Europe and the United States, have for the first time identified two genes that are involved in determining when girls begin menstruation. The work will be published in Nature Genetics this weekend.
The findings of the study could have ramifications for normal human growth and weight too, because early-age menstruation is also associated with shorter stature and increased body weight. In general, girls who achieve menstruation earlier in life tend to have greater body mass index (BMI) and a higher ratio of fat compared to those who begin menstruation later.
The study carried out an analysis of 17,510 women across eight different international population-based sources. This number included women of European descent who reported the age at which they reached menstruation of between nine and 17 years.
The two genes identified were on chromosomes nine and six. One in 20 females carry two copies of each of the gene variations which result in menstruation starting earlier, and they will start menstruating approximately four and half months earlier than those with no copies of the gene variants.
Dr Anna Murray from the Peninsula Medical School, commented: "This study provides the first evidence that common genetic variants influence the time at which women reach sexual maturation. Our findings also indicate a genetic basis for the associations between early menstruation and both height and BMI."
She added: "The study takes us nearer to understanding the biology of the processes involved in puberty and early growth and to understand what constitutes 'normal' in growth and development."
Fellow author John Perry, also from the Peninsula Medical School, added: "Understanding the biological mechanisms behind reproductive lifespan may also help inform us about associated diseases that affect a lot of women as they get older, including diabetes, heart disease and breast cancer."
Andrew Gould | EurekAlert!
At last, butterflies get a bigger, better evolutionary tree
16.02.2018 | Florida Museum of Natural History
New treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease from the animal kingdom
16.02.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).
Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
16.02.2018 | Information Technology
16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy