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  • Genetics in MoBa

Article

Genetic data in The Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study

Published Updated

The data from the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) enable research on the relationship between genetic factors and disease in general, as well as the difference between inheriting a genetic variant from mother or father

The data from the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) enable research on the relationship between genetic factors and disease in general, as well as the difference between inheriting a genetic variant from mother or father


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More information on available genetic data

More information about the dataset, which files are available and how the quality control was performed, is available on the MoBa Genetics Github site. 

To access genetic data in MoBa, the researcher must send an application to MoBa. MoBa expects all project teams to have the necessary expertise to analyze the data prior to applying for access.

Genetics in MoBa

MoBa contains information from around 114,000 children, 95,000 mothers and 75,000 fathers. For most participants, blood samples (DNA, plasma, whole blood) were collected in the period 1999–2009. As MoBa has sample material from trios (mother, father and child), the study is well suited to understand how genetic factors affect disease. The MoBa Biobank is located in Oslo at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

The genetic material (DNA) is very different from person to person. The DNA strand consists of nucleotides. These nucleotides can consist of four different molecules called bases. When you do genotyping of DNA, you measure which bases are found in very many (for example 500,000) nucleotides.

One can think of these bases as markers that can be used to provide information. For example, when gene data from people who have a disease are compared with gene data from people who do not have that disease, this can give an indication of where the various genes that affect the disease are located. To get good results, one must use gene data from many people. 

Genotyping 

The genotyping of the MoBa samples is a collaborative effort, performed mainly in three research projects (see below) and several smaller projects. 

HARVEST - Per Minor Magnus, NIPH and Pål Njølstad, UiB (Principal investigators)

  • 33 000 samples (11 000 trios)
  • Analysed on Illumina HumanCoreExome at Genomics Core Facility Trondheim  

ERC (HARVEST) - Pål Njølstad, UiB (Principal investigator)

  • 27 000 samples (9 000 trios)
  • Analysed on Illumina Global Screening Array at ERASMUS MC 

NORMENT - Ole Andreassen, UiO/OUS (Principal investigator)

  • >100 000 samples (>30 000 trios)
  • Analysed on Illumina OmniExpress at deCODE (in progress) 

Special conditions  

The principal investigators mentioned above (Per Minor Magnus, Pål Njølstad and Ole Andreassen) are, until 2025, to be invited to participate in any study using the GWAS data and must be accredited in acknowledgements. This does not mean automatic co-authorship. MoBa expect all researchers to follow the guidelines from the Vancouver Convention regarding authorship. The number of collaborators and authorships should be agreed upon following a dialogue between the project participants. 

Epigenetics

Data from epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) are available for research in MoBa. EWAS is an analysis of a set of quantifiable epigenetics markers in DNA, such as DNA methylation. 

More information on epigenetics and DNA methylation is available online.  

Linkage to the Norwegian Prescription Database

The Norwegian Prescription Database is in pseudonymised form. This means that any linkage between the database and MoBa Genetics will entail large additional costs for the project. As internal resources have been reallocated due to corona handling, such a connection will not be possible until 2021 at the earliest due to a lack of personnel who can perform the work required.

Contact information

  • For enquires regarding questionnaire data, please contact
  • For other enquires please contact