Detection of ‘selfish’ chromosomes causing miscarriages
However, humans often become pregnant with a single baby.
After a miscarriage, the mother must wait a full 9 months before re-fertilization.
This means that the “selfish” chromosome immediately has another chance to pass into the embryo.
Scientists found miscarriages are often caused by the wrong number of chromosomes, also called “selfish chromosomes” in embryos.
The study, conducted by scientists at the Milner Center for Evolution at the University of Bath, published in the journal PLoS Biology.
Professor Laurence Hurst, director of the Milner Center for Evolution, said normally successfully fertilized eggs will have a total of 46 chromosomes, including 23 from the mother’s egg and 23 from the father’s sperm.
When the number of chromosomes is too small or too much (also called haploid), the embryo develops abnormally and the mother has a miscarriage.