Lizards Clear Up Confusion of Eggs vs. Live Birth
Have you ever wondered why we give birth to live young rather than lay eggs? Scientists have pondered this for a long time and answers have come from an unlikely source: some of Australia’s lizards and snakes.
In research published this month in the American Naturalist, Oliver Griffith and colleagues at the Univ. of Sydney studied reptile pregnancy to identify the factors necessary for a placenta to evolve.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/lizards-clear-confusion-eggs-vs-live-birth
Even Healthy Placentas Gave Bacteria
Surprising new research shows a small but diverse community of bacteria lives in the placentas of healthy pregnant women, overturning the belief that fetuses grow in a pretty sterile environment.
These are mostly varieties of “good germs” that live in everybody. But this week’s study also hints that the make-up of this microbial colony plays a role in premature birth.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/even-healthy-placentas-gave-bacteria
Docs Redefine Full-Term Pregnancy
Mom-to-be closing in on her due date? The nation’s obstetricians are getting more precise about exactly how close makes for a full-term pregnancy.
On average, a pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, counting from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period. That’s how a due date is estimated. A baby is considered preterm if he or she is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Until now, a “term” baby was defined as one born anytime from 37 weeks to 42 weeks, a few weeks before or after the calculated due date.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/10/docs-redefine-full-term-pregnancy
Today in Lab History: August 5, 1930- Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong was an American astronaut who was the first man to walk on the moon (20 Jul 1969, Apollo 11). He served as a Navy pilot during the Korean War, then joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (which became NASA), as a civilian test pilot. In 1962, he was the first civilian to enter the astronaut-training program.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/09/today-lab-history
In a study that included more than 1.5 million deliveries in Sweden, maternal overweight and obesity during pregnancy were associated with increased risk for preterm delivery, with the highest risks observed for extremely preterm deliveries, according to a study in today’s issue of JAMA.
“Maternal overweight and obesity has, due to the high prevalence and associated risks, replaced smoking as the most important preventable risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes in many countries. Preterm birth, defined as a delivery of a liveborn infant before 37 gestational weeks, is the leading cause of infant mortality, neonatal morbidity, and long-term disability among non-malformed infants, and these risks increase with decreasing gestational age,” according to background information in the article.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/06/mother%E2%80%99s-weight-linked-risk-preterm-delivery
New research is raising fresh concern that an age-old treatment for troubled pregnancies — bed rest — doesn’t seem to prevent premature birth, and might even worsen that risk.
Doctors have known for years that there’s no good evidence that bed rest offers any benefit for certain pregnancy complications, and it can cause side effects in the mother, not to mention emotional and financial strain. Yet estimates suggest nearly one in five moms-to-be is told to cut her activity — ranging from quitting work to actually staying in bed all day — at some point during pregnancy.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/05/bed-rest-may-be-detrimental-pregnancy
Prematurity, Low Birth Weight Impact Mortality Rates
A study by Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) researchers published today in the journal Pediatrics showed that increasing numbers of premature and other low birth weight infants are the leading cause for the leveling off of infant mortality and neonatal mortality rates in the U.S.
Infant mortality rate is defined as the number of infants who die before their first birthday. Neonatal mortality rate is defined as the number of infants who die before reaching 28 days old.
Read more: Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/04/prematurity-low-birth-weight-impact-mortality-rates
For expectant moms who may contemplate the pros and cons of natural child birth or Caesarian section, a Henry Ford Hospital study suggests that C-section babies are susceptible to developing allergies by the age of two.
Researchers found that babies born by C-section are five times more likely to develop allergies than babies born naturally when exposed to high levels of common allergens in the home such as those from dogs, cats and dust mites.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/02/c-section-increases-allergy-risk-babies
U.N. Calls for Better Family Planning
The U.N.’s top population official wants governments to do more to ensure that women have access to family planning.
The U.N. says the world will add a billion people to its current population of some 7 billion within a decade, further straining the planet’s resources.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/01/un-calls-better-family-planning
U.S. Birthrates Down for Fourth Consecutive Year
U.S. births fell for the fourth year in a row, the government reports with experts calling it more proof that the weak economy has continued to dampen enthusiasm for having children. But there may be a silver lining: the decline in 2011 was just 1 percent —not as sharp a fall-off as the 2 to 3 percent drop seen in other recent years.
"It may be that the effect of the recession is slowly coming to an end," says Carl Haub, a senior demographer with the Population Reference Bureau, a Washington, D.C.-based research organization. Most striking in the new report were steep declines in Hispanic birth rates and a new low in teen births. Hispanics have been disproportionately affected by the flagging economy, experts say, and teen birth rates have been falling for 20 years.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/10/us-birthrates-down-fourth-consecutive-year
Marijuana Doubles Risk of Premature Birth
A large international study led by Univ. of Adelaide researchers has found that women who use marijuana are at more than double the risk of giving birth to a baby prematurely.
Preterm or premature birth — at least three weeks before a baby’s due date — can result in serious and life-threatening health problems for the baby, and an increased risk of health problems in later life, such as heart disease and diabetes. A study of more than 3,000 pregnant women in Adelaide, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand has detailed the most common risk factors for preterm birth. The results have been published online today in the journal PLoS ONE.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-Cannabis-Doubles-Risk-of-Premature-Birth-071912.aspx
Fertility Treatments Heighten Risk of Birth Defects
A Univ. of Adelaide study has identified the risk of major birth defects associated with different types of assisted reproductive technology.
In the most comprehensive study of its kind in the world, researchers from the Univ.’s Robinson Institute have compared the risk of major birth defects for each of the reproductive therapies commonly available internationally, such as: IVF (in vitro fertilization), ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) and ovulation induction. They also compared the risk of birth defects after fresh and frozen embryo transfer.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-Fertility-Treatment-Heightens-Risk-of-Birth-Defects-050712.aspx
Infants born to women who used the anti-HIV drug tenofovir as part of an anti-HIV drug regimen during pregnancy do not weigh less at birth and are not of shorter length than infants born to women who used anti-HIV drug regimens that do not include tenofovir during pregnancy, according to findings from a National Institutes of Health network study. However, at 1 year of age, children born to the tenofovir-treated mothers were slightly shorter and had slightly smaller head circumference—about 1 centimeter each, on average—than were infants whose mothers did not take tenofovir.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-HIV-Drug-Does-Not-Affect-Birth-Weight-050312.aspx
One out of every two women of reproductive age is overweight or obese. Researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute, from the Univ. of Ottawa (faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences) and from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute set out to discover if overweight or obese women are in fact more likely to give birth to above average weight babies, as reported in the Journal of Maternal Fetal and Neonatal Medicine.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-Weight-Gain-During-Pregnancy-Can-Cause-Heavier-Babies-041812.aspx