The BiSC project will obtain genetic data from mothers and their babies!

The BiSC project has secured funding from the Carlos III Institute of Health (ISCIII) to be able to genotype mothers and their babies. Genotyping consists of determining for each individual which variant (or shape) has a specific position of the DNA sequence, among all the possible variants existing in the population. The new project will determine about half a million genetic variants, which will be used to infer a total of 40 million more variants, which will give us a genetic footprint of each individual. This information will allow us to understand complex phenotypes, such as birth weight or susceptibility to asthma, which are determinant by a combination of genetic variants and environmental factors.

The first genetic study we want to carry out is related to the placenta, a unique organ that originates from the fetus but is in constant communication with the mother. In this study we want to investigate how the genetic variants of the mother and baby regulate the functioning of the placenta. We will analyze the function of the placenta at both physiological and molecular level: measuring blood flow between the mother, placenta and fetus, and measuring a series of biomarkers. Our main hypothesis is that the functioning of this organ so essential for the development of the fetus is regulated by both the genome of the mother and the fetus. That is, there is an “understanding” between the two genomes, which is why we have called the project “ENTENTE: matErNal and feTal gENeTic bases of plaCEntal function”.

The text has been written by Mariona Bustamante, a researcher of BiSC project.