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Big baby? You take after your gran

A round-up of the health news in the papers on Friday 23 March.

Were you a big baby? If you were then your grandmother may be to blame, says the BBC.

UK-based researchers have found a gene that can add 93g to the birthweight if passed down from the mother and 155g if passed down from the maternal grandmother. The gene variant is called RS1.

This is one case where dads really can say ‘It's your mother's fault'. Professor Gudrun Moore of University College London who led there search team said: 'Dad's lack of involvement in evolutionary terms may stem from his own survival not being at stake and he can continue to reproduce with other females.'

The Daily Mail reports on a pill that could slow the progression of arthritis. Developers of the pill Protelosa claim that it reduces pain and improves the patient's movement and may be available on the NHS within a year. Patients tested the drug for three years and it was found to slow the progression of the disease by one year.

Researchers are confident that NICE will approve the drug because it is ‘so cheap and it has been found to be so effective.' The Daily Mail reports that it costs 80p a day.

The Guardian reports on an outbreak of ‘deadly' flu that has been passed around care homes over the past few weeks. The paper quotes the Health Protection Agency: ‘The most common flu strain we are currently seeing circulate this season is H3N2, which can cause more severe illness particularly in older people.'

‘It is very important to remember all those in a clinical 'at risk group' should get vaccinated before the next flu season in order to protect against flu strains that will circulate during the winter months'

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