A research paper published in the journal Nature Genetics claims that it is now possible to tell the age at which the first child will be borne and also the number of children that one can get from a set of 24 genes that are connected with 12 locations of the DNA sequence. This sounds almost like working through a horoscope that has a specific house and specific planet to indicate the number of children that one is likely to get and also the timing of births. The horoscope also says whether one would remain childless for ever or get children very late in life. These prospects must be there present in their body system if it has to be represented in the horoscope. The present research concedes that these indicators are really present in the DNA.
A reading of the news of this study from various online magazines however show that they have just touched the tip of the iceberg, in that they have now found only a less than 1% probability of links in the DNA to the issues such as the timing of the first child and the number of children. These links are already found to have definite connection to reproductive features such as menstruation and menopause. These features are more recognisable but timing the first child is something really a giant’s leap as that infuses an element of determinism and destiny in one of life’s most important features / events.
The research gives credence to the horoscopic issues of timing (Dasa- Bhukthi) in getting children. Even if the couple are found to be fertile enough to beget children, they would not have got, which is attributed to unfavourable dasa- bhukthi in the horoscope. The research raises the possibility to state that this is due to DNA links not being in place or being switched off. I have noticed such timings coincide well with clinical observation in the case of cancer disease and the relapse of the same. In the case of diseases and particularly in cancer disease, it is possible to establish the link to DNA / gene behaviour, but such a link being detected in timing the conception of children is indeed an exciting revelation.
Children play an important role in one’s life. Sanatan Dharma considers getting children as a gift and wealth which cannot be compared with any other wealth. Begetting a good child (well behaved) is what one enjoys as a fruit of one’s good actions done in a previous birth. That is why in Tamil, parents are known as “PetRROr”. The root word is ‘PERu” which means gift. Those who have kids enjoy “PERu” and that is why they are known as “PetRROr”
The kind of Prarabdha karma that one is bound to experience includes not only the birth of kids but also how healthy, brainy they are etc, and also whether they become a source of burden or misery to the parents or give happiness to them. All these are discernible from the horoscope (of the parent). The PERu /gift component in recognition of kids have these elements too. This makes it necessary that the genes / DNA that are inherited by the kids from both the parents and have its own mixing combination must contain the defects or bright spots for its own make-up. The current research also throws up possibilities to find out such features too. If that is really found out, it would be an unmistakable indicator of Determinism and role of past karma in our lives.
When I use the term determinism, I don’t want to mean fatalism. Life is a mix of Prarabdha karma and Kriyamana karma by which we ‘act’ to overcome the effect Prarabdha. This is enshrined in the principle of propitiation and repentance to overcome a bad Prarabdha karma. The changing dasa- bhuthis do indicate scope for this. This pre-supposes that the DNA too is flexible for modifications. There do exist many scientific researches on how the DNA can be altered by meditation and physical activity (methylation).
One intriguing feature in the whole study is whether the finding (of timing the first child) applies to men as well. In horoscopy it is possible, but how is it found present in the DNA of the male?
DNA may influence when you have kids, and how many, study says
Brad Crouch, Medical Reporter, The Advertiser
October 31, 2016 4:00pm
RESEARCHERS have found a link between DNA and how many children a person is likely to have – and even when they are likely to have their first child.
The work casts a biological hook into what is usually seen as a decision based on choice, environment and social factors, including income.
The study, published in Nature Genetics today, is co-authored by more than 250 sociologists, biologists, and geneticists from institutions worldwide, including the University of South Australia and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.
While the authors emphasise that the DNA link cannot predict the exact timing of a first child or the exact number of children people will have, they note it is “significantly associated”.
The scientists looked at 238,064 men and women for age at first birth, and almost 330,000 for the number of children. They identified 12 areas of DNA linked to both.
For the first time, scientists now know where to find the DNA areas linked to reproductive behaviour.
Lead author Professor Melinda Mills, from the University of Oxford, said that for the first time, scientists now know where to find the DNA areas linked to reproductive behaviour.
“For example, we found that women with DNA variants for postponing parenthood also have bits of DNA code associated with later onset of menstruation and later menopause,” she said.
“One day it may be possible to use this information so doctors can answer the important question: ‘How late can you wait?’ based on the DNA variants.
“It is important to put this into perspective, however, as having a child still strongly depends on many social and environmental factors that will always play a bigger role in whether or when we have babies.”
The study shows the DNA variants are associated with sexual development milestones such as the age girls have their first period, when the voice breaks in boys and at what stage women experience menopause.
Senior collaborator Professor Elina Hypponen, who is the director of the UniSA Centre for Population Health Research at SAHMRI, said the goal was to find insights into biological mechanisms which affect fertility. Further work may lead to treatments for age-related declines in fertility and sperm quality.
Bec Waddingham with Joel, 2 and his sister Ashlyn, 5. Picture: Matt Loxton
“This research does not at all suggest that age at first birth or number of children would be determined primarily by genetic factors; as we all know, these are complex, multifactorial traits which are mostly determined by individual choices and circumstances,” she said.
“What this work does show is that genetic factors do play a role in determining fertility, and with these genetic analyses, we were able to identify biological influences which affect individual differences in fertility.”
Prof Hypponen noted that in the long-term, the work could lead to insights into how postponing reproduction could be more detrimental to some people compared to others.
The researchers concede the numbers confirming the link may seem “extremely small” but are enough to be used to predict the probability of women remaining childless.
Mother of Ashlyn, 5 and Joel 2, Bec Waddingham of Sheidow Park said factors including buying a house influenced her and partner Adam’s timing for having a family.
“I was 27 and we wanted to make sure we were quite ready,” she said.
“It is interesting work - what if one person’s DNA is telling them one thing and the partner’s is telling them something else?”
Your DNA Plays A Role In How Many Children You'll Have, And When: 12 Genetic Areas Associated With Reproduction
Oct 31, 2016 05:29 PM
By Dana Dovey
You may think that age, marriage status, and unprotected sex are factors that determine when a couple has their first child, but a new study suggests there may be a small genetic factor as well. The research from Oxford University found 12 specific areas of the DNA sequence which they believe are related to the age at which we have our first child, and the total number of children we eventually have.
This is the first study to identify specific areas of our DNA linked to reproductive behavior, authors said. Among the findings: women with DNA variants for postponing parenthood also have bits of DNA code associated with later onset of menstruation and later menopause. In addition, the team found that DNA variants linked with childbearing age are associated with other reproduction and sexual development factors, such as the age when the voice breaks in boys, and the stage women experience their menopause. Genes may also predict the probability that a woman will remain child-free.
According to the study authors in a recent statement: “An improved understanding of the function of these genes may provide new insights for infertility treatments.”
In order to identify these reproductive genes, the researchers analyzed 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 they had.
The researchers emphasized that the time that a couple has their first child and the number of children they eventually have is still largely influenced by societal and environmental factors. For example, the researchers calculated that variants in the 12 areas of the DNA together predict less than 1 percent of the timing at which men and women have their first child and their total number of kids. Still, insights into the genetics involved could help answer questions such as how long a couple can wait before attempting to build a family.
Source: Barban N, Jansen R, de Vlaming R. Genome-wide analysis identifies 12 loci influencing human reproductive behavior. Nature Genetics . 2016