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Researchers identify specific areas of DNA sequence that are related with the age at which we have our first child, and the total number of children we have during the course of our life.

Twelve DNA areas 'linked with the age at which we have our first child and family size' gopixa

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Researchers have identified 12 specific areas of the DNA sequence that are robustly related with the age at which we have our first child, and the total number of children we have during the course of our life. The study, led by the University of Oxford, working together with the Universities of Groningen, The Netherlands and Uppsala, Sweden, includes an analysis of 62 datasets with information from 238,064 men and women for age at first birth, and almost 330,000 men and women for the number of children. Until now, reproductive behaviour was thought to be mainly linked to personal choices or social circumstances and environmental factors. However, this new research shows that genetic variants can be isolated and that there is also a biological basis for reproductive behaviour. The paper is co-authored by over 250 sociologists, biologists, and geneticists from institutions worldwide, and has been published in the journal Nature Genetics.

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