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Shock tactics: Bioelectrical therapy for cancer and birth defects?

Stem cell therapies hold increasing promise as a cure for multiple diseases. But the massive potential of a healthy stem cell has a flip side, as faulty regulation of stem cells leads to a huge range of human diseases. Even before birth, mistakes ma...

2 studies present new data on effects of alcohol during pregnancy

Scientific data continue to indicate that higher intake of alcohol during pregnancy adversely affects the fetus, and could lead to very severe developmental or other problems in the child. However, most recent publications show little or no effec...

Depression during pregnancy increases risk for preterm birth and low birth...

Clinical depression puts pregnant women at increased risk of delivering prematurely and of giving birth to below-normal weight infants, according to a report published...

Successful periodontal therapy may reduce the risk of preterm birth, according...

PHILADELPHIA -- - A collaboration led by a periodontal researcher from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine has found a possible link between the success of gum-disease treatment and the likelihood of giving birth prematurely, a...

Neonatal intensive care units critical to infant survival

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Sept. 1, 2010 -- Very low birthweight and very preterm infants are more likely to die if they are not born at hospitals with neonatal intensive care units specially equipped to care for seriously ill newborns, in contrast to sim...

BUSPH study observes link between decongestant use in pregnant women and...

A new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) epidemiologists has found that women who took over-the-counter decongestants during their pregnancies are less likely to give birth prematurely. Preterm birth -- deliveries at le...

Oxytocin: It’s a mom and pop thing

Philadelphia, PA, 20 August, 2010 - The hormone oxytocin has come under intensive study in light of emerging evidence that its release contributes to the social bonding that occurs between lovers, friends, and colleagues. Oxytocin also plays an impo...

Surrogate mothers have no doubts about handing over the baby

Surrogate mothers do not suffer major emotional problems during or after their pregnancy, or when they hand over the baby to the commissioning parents, researchers told the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today. The latest results from a long-running study into surrogacy by researchers from City University, UK, led by Professor Susan Golombok, found that, contrary to anecdotal reports in the media, none of the 34 surrogate mothers interviewed for the study reported any misgivings about handing over the baby. Any emotional problems that the women did experience after the birth appeared to lessen with time. The majority of surrogate mothers enjoyed good relations with their commissioning couples and did not suffer adverse reactions from their own friends and family.

Prematurity, infections most likely causes of brain damage among infants

The most likely causes of brain damage among low birthweight infants are prematurity and infections, not oxygen starvation, a Johns Hopkins study has found. Studying 213 babies born weighing less than 3 pounds, 5 ounces, the researchers noted that the smaller the infants were at birth and the less time they spent in the womb, the more likely they were to have some form of brain damage. Babies born with infections were more likely than those without infections to have brain complications. The report is published in the June issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Key to baby-soft skin could be cheesy

For nine months before birth, infants soak in a watery, urine-filled environment. Just hours after birth, however, they have near-perfect skin. How is it that nature enables infants to develop ideal skin in such seemingly unsuitable surroundings? A new study by researchers at the Skin Sciences Institute of Cincinnati Children?s Hospital Medical Center shows that the answer may be vernix -- the white, cheesy substance that coats infants for weeks before they are born, then is wiped off and discarded immediately after birth. If they?re right, the healthcare implications for newborns and adults could be remarkable.

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