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New Discovery Sheds Light on Genetic Causes of Infertility in Fruit Flies and Humans

Fife Today UK,  Nov 26, 2012

November 26, 2012

A recent study out of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and published in the Journal of Cell Science, says fruit flies and humans have a newly discovered cause of infertility in common.

The team, led by Professor Hiroyuki Ohkura, discovered that a missing SRPK gene prevents chromosomes from huddling together- a process which is essential for healthy oocyte, or egg, development. Without huddling, the egg may lose its ability to be fertilized.

Other chromosome abnormalities can result in hereditary genetic conditions, infertility, and miscarriage. The results of this study support the notion that abnormal chromosome division poses a risk to fertility.

"Fruit fly eggs serve as a good model to understand why sterility and low fertility arises in humans. By studying the phenomenon of chromosome clustering, shared by fruit flies and humans and identifying genes like SRPK we are gaining insights into fertility health”, says Ohkura. This data brings light to additional causes of infertility and allows for advancements in genetic screening and fertility treatment options.

Further research is required to understand huddling in greater detail.

To read the full article, click here.


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