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Current Placenta News and Events, Placenta News Articles.
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Placenta transit of an environmental estrogen
The human foetus is considered to be particularly sensitive to environmental contaminants. A team led by Benedikt Warth from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna and Tina Bürki from the Swiss Materials Science and Technology Institute, Empa, has now been able to demonstrate for the first time how the widespread food estrogen zearalenone behaves in the womb. Using a new analytical method, it was shown that the xenoestrogen migrates through the placenta and is partially converted to other harmful substances. (2019-10-10)

Babies burdened by environmental estrogens in mothers' wombs
Early childhood life in the womb is particularly sensitive to the effects of environmental pollutants. A team from Empa and the University of Vienna has now for the first time been able to show how a pollutant from contaminated food - the environmental estrogen zearalenone - spreads in the womb and is metabolized into harmful metabolites. (2019-10-10)

Study in rats suggests special occasion drinking during pregnancy may cause harm
If you thought a glass or two of alcohol on special occasions was safe during pregnancy, think again. Research in the Journal of Physiology shows even small amounts of alcohol consumed during pregnancy can cause insulin-resistance, which increases the likelihood of diabetes, in male rat offspring. (2019-10-09)

Placenta pathology may clarify racial disparities in preemie health outcomes
African-American infants are twice as likely to die in the first year of life than white infants, for reasons that are complex and not well understood. Results from a recent study suggest that specific abnormalities in the placenta from African-American preterm births may hold clues to the physical mechanisms behind racial disparities in preemie health outcomes. (2019-10-03)

Scientists unlock secrets of maternal/fetal cellular communication during pregnancy
Researchers have unlocked mysteries surrounding how a pregnant mother's cells and her fetus' cells communicate throughout pregnancy. With this new information, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston team and their colleagues in South Korea can develop new non-invasive methods of monitoring and improving the health of the fetus using this mode of communication. (2019-08-21)

Implantable 3D blastocyst-like embryonic structure generated from mouse stem cells
An international collaboration of researchers from the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) in Japan and the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease in the USA have generated 3D blastocyst-like structures from stem cells. Published in the journal Stem Cell Reports, the study shows that the blastocyst-like structures very closely resemble actual blastocysts, and even induce proper changes in the uterus after being implanted in pseudo-pregnant mice. (2019-08-08)

How 'natural-killer' cells might help women avoid a deadly risk of childbirth
Malfunctioning uterine NK cells play a key role in placenta accreta, a condition that leads to over-attachment of the placenta to uterine tissues and can cause extensive bleeding during childbirth. In mouse models, scientists at Cincinnati Children's trace the NK cell malfunction to a mutant form of the protein Gab3, and demonstrate that healthy NK cell transplants can prevent accreta. (2019-08-02)

Ladies' choice: What drives faster, flashier formation of new animal species
Evolution is actually a Sadie Hawkins dance, as new research shows females not only determine whether male animals develop bright colors, but also how fast new species develop. (2019-07-26)

High-risk pregnancy: The interferon effect
Teams from the Institut Pasteur, the CNRS, Inserm, Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital (AP-HP) and Université de Paris have identified a new cellular mechanism that alters placental development, potentially causing serious complications during pregnancy. The mechanism is linked with the production of interferon, a molecule produced in response to infection, especially viral infection. (2019-07-11)

Human pregnancy dependent on cells evolved in platypus-like animal 300 million years ago
Platelet cells, which prevent mammals from bleeding non-stop, first evolved around 300 million years ago in an egg-laying animal similar to the modern duck-billed platypus, finds joint research by UCL and Yale University. (2019-07-09)

Clinical trials beginning for possible preeclampsia treatment
For over 20 years, a team of researchers at Lund University has worked on developing a drug against preeclampsia -- a serious disorder which annually affects around 9 million pregnant women worldwide and is one of the main causes of death in both mothers and unborn babies. (2019-06-24)

Researchers find potential way to prevent most common pregnancy-related conditions
A new finding from University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers, published in the June issue of the journal Endocrinology, could have important implications for developing novel treatments to prevent placental abnormalities. (2019-06-19)

New evidence supports the presence of microbes in the placenta
Researchers report visual evidence supporting the presence of bacteria within the microarchitecture of the placental tissue. (2019-06-18)

Virus genes help determine if pea aphids get their wings
Researchers from the University of Rochester shed light on the important role that microbial genes, like those from viruses, can play in insect and animal evolution. (2019-06-14)

New insight could improve maternal vaccines that also protect newborns
Duke researchers describe a previously unidentified route for antibodies to be transferred from the mother to the fetus, illuminating a potential way to capitalize on this process to control when and how certain antibodies are shared. (2019-06-13)

Breaking the code: How is a mother's immunity transferred to her baby?
A study based at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard has determined how a pregnant woman's vaccine-induced immunity is transferred to her child, which has implications for the development of more effective maternal vaccines. (2019-06-13)

Women caught in a pickle by their own immune systems
A team of scientists at Arizona State University is presenting a new hypothesis to explain why there are differences between women and men when it comes to human diseases. Called 'The Pregnancy Compensation Hypothesis,' the theory sets the stage for novel research avenues focused specifically on treating autoimmune diseases and cancer. (2019-06-11)

Drinking alcohol even at conception damages placenta development
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can have disastrous consequences for the developing fetus, leading to low birth weight and fetal alcohol syndrome. Now, a team of researchers at the University of Queensland, Australia, publishes their discovery that drinking alcohol around the time of conception markedly restricts the growth of the placenta in soon-to-be rat mums, providing potential new clues for the causes of conditions like fetal growth restriction in people. (2019-06-10)

Using microRNA to detect early signs of type 2 diabetes in teens
Exosomes, tiny nanoparticles released from fat cells, may hold biochemical clues to the early development of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study of 55 teens with obesity (2019-06-08)

Mount Sinai discovers placental stem cells that can regenerate heart after heart attack
Study identifies new stem cell type that can significantly improve cardiac function. (2019-05-20)

Maternal microbes mediate diet-derived damage
New research in The Journal of Physiology has found, using a mouse model, that microbes in the maternal intestine may contribute to impairment of the gut barrier during pregnancy. (2019-05-12)

Rheumatoid arthritis drug diminishes Zika birth defects in mice
In experiments with pregnant mice infected with the Zika virus, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report they have successfully used a long-standing immunosuppressive drug to diminish the rate of fetal deaths and birth defects in the mice's offspring. (2019-05-06)

The immaculate conception?
A new, groundbreaking study by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) found a way to transform skin cells into the three major stem cell types that comprise early-stage embryos. This work has significant implications for modelling embryonic disease and placental dysfunctions, as well as paving the way to create whole embryos from skin cells. (2019-05-02)

Placental function linked to brain injuries associated with autism
Allopregnanolone, a hormone made by the placenta late in pregnancy, is such a potent neurosteroid that disrupting its steady supply to the developing fetus can leave it vulnerable to brain injuries associated with autism spectrum disorder, according to Children's research presented during the Pediatric Academic Societies 2019 Annual Meeting. (2019-04-27)

3D modelling identifies nutrient exchange in the human placenta
New findings published today in Science Advances, detail three-dimensional imaging research by a group of scientists at The University of Manchester and St Mary's Hospital. The research has opened up understanding about this vital life-sustaining process by mathematically modelling the human placenta. (2019-04-17)

Artificial womb technology breaks its 4 minute mile
A major advancement in pioneering technology based around the use of an artificial womb to save extremely premature babies is being hailed as a medical and biotechnological breakthrough. (2019-03-26)

Sperm DNA damage may contribute to repeat miscarriages
Some cases of recurrent pregnancy loss may be caused by sperm DNA damage in the male partner, rather than by a problem in affected women, according to research to be presented Sunday, March 24 at ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in New Orleans, La. (2019-03-23)

Zika study may 'supercharge' vaccine research
Scientists looking at the genetics of Zika virus have found a way to fast-track research which could lead to new vaccines. The study, led by The University of Queensland and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, used a new technique to uncover Zika mutations that help foster virus replication in mosquito hosts, while hindering its ability to replicate in mammals. (2019-03-18)

Cancer imaging technology can help reveal life-threatening pregnancy disorder
An imaging technique used to detect some forms of cancer can also help detect preeclampsia in pregnancy before it becomes a life-threatening condition, a new Tulane study says. (2019-03-12)

Researchers aiming to cure spina bifida get a step closer to their goal
Researchers on the path to finding a cure for spina bifida have identified specific elements in stem cell secretions as key to protecting neurons and ultimately reducing the lower-limb paralysis associated with the birth defect. The team will use the results to optimize the neuroprotective qualities of a stem cell treatment they developed that improves mobility in lab animals and dogs with spina bifida. (2019-03-07)

Engineers develop placenta-on-a-chip to study caffeine transport from mother to fetus
Iowa State's Nicole Hashemi has used her expertise in microfluidics to lead development of a device that models a human placenta. She and her research team have used the 'placenta-on-a-chip' to study transport of caffeine from the mother, across the placental barrier, to the fetus. The journal Global Challenges has just published a paper describing the device and reporting on the caffeine study. (2019-02-18)

Penis development needs more than just testes and testosterone
Proper development of the fetal penis requires not just testosterone from the testes, but a second hormone produced by other tissues, including the placenta, according to a new study publishing Feb. 14 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology from Paul Fowler of the University of Aberdeen, Michelle Bellingham of the University of Glasgow, and colleagues in the UK, France and Sweden. The results reveal a previously unknown pathway of masculinization of the external genitals. (2019-02-14)

How to classify high blood pressure in pregnancy?
The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) changed their guidance to lower the threshold criteria for hypertension in adults. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, however, has different criteria. A new study looks at which set of guidelines is most appropriate. (2019-02-11)

Could omega-3 fatty acids help prevent miscarriages?
A new study in mice reveals that omega-3s, a type of fat found in fish oil, reduces fetal and neonatal deaths, suggesting they could prevent some miscarriages in women. (2019-02-07)

PolyU's nano-encapsulation technology enhances DHA absorption for early brain development
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) today announced the findings on its novel nano-encapsulation technology for optimising the maternal and fetal absorption of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The research, conducted by PolyU's Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology (ABCT), aimed to address the delivery and absorption issues of DHA that affect its potency and efficacy. (2019-01-31)

Industrial chemicals pass from mother to fetus throughout pregnancy
In a study published in Environment International researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden show how PFAS industrial chemicals, which are used in many consumer products, pass through the placenta throughout pregnancy to accumulate in fetal tissue. Further research is now needed to ascertain the effect that highly persistent PFAS chemicals have on the fetus. (2019-01-30)

Placentas adapt when mothers have poor diets or low oxygen during pregnancy
Cambridge researchers have discovered the placenta regulates how much oxygen and nutrients it transports to babies during challenging pregnancies in the first study of its kind. The placenta is one of the least understood human organs and it is notoriously difficult to study. This new research focused on analysing the placental mitochondria and it is hoped the new findings could lead to tests to determine whether a mother's placenta is functioning properly. (2019-01-18)

Game over for Zika? KU Leuven researchers develop promising vaccine
Scientists at the KU Leuven Rega Institute in Belgium have developed a new vaccine against the Zika virus. This vaccine should prevent the virus from causing microcephaly and other serious conditions in unborn babies. (2018-12-19)

Marshall University study finds differences in umbilical cord blood metal levels in newborns
New findings from a team of Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine researchers reveal urban and rural differences in prenatal exposure to essential and toxic elements. (2018-12-12)

The source of stem cells points to two proteins
While other animal embryos grow outside the mother, their embryonic cells can get right to work accepting assignments, such as head, tail or vital organ. By contrast, mammalian embryos must first choose between forming the placenta or creating the baby. New research at MSU has pinpointed two proteins that are the keys to this decision making. The process of assigning cells to placenta or baby is important because that is when pluripotent cells are made. These adaptable pluripotent cells are critical to stem cell research. (2018-12-11)

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