Garbh-Ini Programme

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Recently, the Indian scientists working in the Garbh-Ini programme have identified 19 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), or genetic markers, that are associated with preterm or premature birth. Ministry of Science and Technology,

About the Garbh-Ini Programme:

  • It promotes Maternal and Child Health and develops prediction tools for preterm birth.
  • It is an initiative under the Department of Biotechnology of the Union Ministry of Science and Technology as a collaborative interdisciplinary programme.
  • This program is led by the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), NCR Biotech cluster, Faridabad.
  • It is part of the Atal JaiAnusandhan Biotech Mission - Undertaking Nationally Relevant Technology Innovation (UNaTI).

What is single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)?

  • It is the most common type of genetic variation among people.
  • Each SNP represents a difference in a single DNA building block, called a nucleotide.
  • For example, an SNP may replace the nucleotide cytosine (C) with the nucleotide thymine (T) in a certain stretch of DNA.
  • Most commonly these are found in the DNA between genes.
  • Significance:
    • These help in predicting an individual’s response to certain drugs, susceptibility to environmental factors such as toxins, and risk of developing diseases.
    • These can also be used to track the inheritance of disease-associated genetic variants within families.
    • They can act as biological markers which help scientists locate genes that are associated with the disease.

What is a preterm birth?

  • It is defined as babies born alive before 37 weeks of pregnancy are completed. There are sub-categories of preterm birth, based on gestational age:
    • Extremely preterm (less than 28 weeks)
    • Very preterm (28 to 32 weeks)
    • Moderate to late preterm (32 to 37 weeks).


Q1) What are biomarkers

These are measurable indicators of biological processes, conditions, or diseases within an organism. These markers can be found in a variety of biological materials, including blood, urine, saliva, and tissue samples and can be used to diagnose diseases.

Source:  Indian scientists find genetic markers associated with premature births