Researchers from Monash University have discovered the gatekeeper that causes increased miscarriages and birth defects.
It is well known that the risk of miscarriage and the risk of having a baby with chromosomal abnormalities increases significantly with maternal age. This age-related decrease in fertility and increase in miscarriage is almost all caused by problems in the oocyte (also known as an egg cell).
Monash researchers have, for the first time, discovered that eggs from older mothers can bypass the gatekeeper that normally prevents the final development of eggs that have damage in their DNA.
These findings may mean that scientists are able to develop new approaches to prevent the DNA errors occurring in older mothers, reducing the number of miscarriages and births of babies with chromosomal problems.
[img source] Tatiana Vdb (CCA2.0).
The above story is based on materials provided by Monash University.