The Newsroom    Published Tuesday, Jun. 13, 2006, 10:31 AM
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Gene tests shed light on what triggers birth

New Scientist (Internet / Print) 06/13/06 http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn9322-gene-tests-shed-light-on-what-triggers-birth.html Sets of genes responsible for triggering birth have been identified and may provide an insight into why some women go into labour prematurely. The discovery could also enable the development of genetic tests to assess the likelihood of premature delivery and lead to better drugs to prevent it. The process of delivery is complex, as different parts of the uterus and cervix must work in concert, explains Radek Bukowski at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas, US, who led the research. Bukowski believes his findings represent a promising step towards pinpointing the errors in genes that could predispose some women to premature labour. With such knowledge, scientists may be able to design genetic tests to assess the chance of this happening and develop better drugs to prevent it.



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