SCIENTISTS have been studying Sheridan Brayshaw since before she was born.
And they will continue to do so for the rest of her life.
The 27-year-old Kinross mother is part of a lifelong health research project known as the Raine Study, which her mother joined while pregnant with her in the early ‘90s.
It is one of the most in-depth examinations of human life in the world.
Researchers are hoping to gain a better understanding of how genetic and environmental factors in a person’s infancy predict health later in life.
Ms Brayshaw’s two sons Roman (5) and Eli (3) are now part of the project, which is in its third generation of participants since recruiting 2900 pregnant women between 1989 and 1991.
Ms Brayshaw said she did not understand the importance of the study when she was younger, but now saw “just how invaluable the findings are and continue to be”.
“My children recently were part of their very first Raine Study series of tests at the same time I did my 27-year follow-up and what an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia it was,” she said.
“I am also so proud to have them be part of something that has been a big part of my own life as I feel like we are really carrying on something so important.”
She was the 500th participant to undergo her 27-year follow-up, which involved a range of questionnaires, blood tests, urine samples, MRI scans and other health exams.
More than 450 research papers have been published since the study began.
One resulted in the identification of genes associated with lung function, birth weight, puberty and language development.
Another looked at the benefits of breastfeeding on weight, asthma, allergies and behavioural problems.
Read more at www.rainestudy.org.au.