Chinese genomics giant BGI finds DNA linked to the birth of twins
Chinese genomics giant BGI's Shenzhen-based center announced Wednesday that they had revealed associations between genes and the birth of twins. This outcome is part of its latest findings resulting from the country's largest genetic analysis of Chinese people to date, reports the Xinhua News Agency.
A pair of Chinese twins. [File Photo: VCG]
Initiated by BGI in 2016, the sweeping giant genetic study reportedly involved data from the non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) of 141,431 Chinese female participants, representing 31 out of the 34 administrative divisions in China and 37 of China's 56 officially recognized ethnic groups.
Having sequenced and analyzed a portion of the genomes, Chinese, American scientists recently reported an assortment of findings, covering 16 unknown genetic associations, patterns of clinically relevant viral infection in maternal plasma, and insights into the genetic structure and history of the Chinese population.
One of the 16 unknown genetic associations constitutes the variation in a gene called NRG1, which was found to be linked to a greater or lesser incidence of twins. They also found that one variant of the gene is more common in mothers with twins and is associated with hyperthyroidism.
Logo of BGI-research, a non-profit institution focusing on multi-omics based researches and applications in life sciences, biotechnology and medical fields. [File Photo: VCG]
According to the study, a variant of another gene, EMB, was associated with older first-time mother.
Scientists were also capable of identifying patterns in the evolutionary history of China's different ethnic groups, pinpointing novel genetic loci linked to phenotypes like height and BMI, as well as identifying viral DNA distributions specific to the Chinese genome.
Detail findings of the study were published in the journal Cell on October 4, 2018.