A Common Epilepsy Drug Causes Birth Defects, And We May Finally Know Why

Valproic acid – a drug commonly used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder – can cause birth defects and developmental disorders if taken during pregnancy, but the reason why has long been a mystery. Now, in a study using mice and human tissue, scientists discovered that the medication locks some embryonic cells into a suspended … Read more

Here’s What That Study About SIDS That Went Viral Actually Found

Last week, a new study about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) went viral after news headlines and social media posts proclaimed that scientists had discovered the root cause of the condition. And a press release describing the research asserted that, thanks to the “breakthrough” finding, SIDS “may soon be a thing of the past.” However, … Read more

New Harmful Side Effects of Marijuana Discovered – Developing Brain Needs Cannabinoid Receptors After Birth

Cannabinoid receptor 1, the cell-surface receptor that mediates the psychoactive effects of marijuana, is essential for normal development of the dopamine system. Images of the midbrain show that dopamine-producing neurons (light blue) extend dendrites that are tightly bundled with input axons from striosomes (co-labeling shown in bright green) in normal mice (left), but that these … Read more

First large-scale study of COVID-era birth data finds significant drop in cesarian, induced deliveries – BIOENGINEER.ORG

Premature births from cesarian (C-sections) and induced deliveries fell by 6.5% during the first month of the Covid-19 pandemic and remained consistently lower throughout – a likely result of fewer prenatal visits due to efforts to slow the spread of the virus, according to new research from Georgia Tech’s School of Economics. Premature births from … Read more

Scientists Have Now Analyzed Ultrasounds for Birth Defects Associated With COVID-19 Vaccines

Dr. Emily Miller explains elements of a fetal ultrasound to fellow study author Dr. Rachel Ruderman. Credit: Northwestern University COVID-19 Vaccine Not Associated With Birth Defects Detectable on Ultrasound Findings fill gap left vacant when pregnant people were excluded from the initial trials. Scientists analyzed ultrasounds for a wide range of birth defects from life-long … Read more

New Male Birth Control Pill Effectively Prevents Pregnancy – Without Side Effects

Women have many choices for birth control, ranging from pills to patches to intrauterine devices, and partly as a result, they bear most of the burden of preventing pregnancy. But men’s birth control options – and, therefore, responsibilities – could soon be expanding. Today, scientists report a non-hormonal male contraceptive that effectively prevents pregnancy in … Read more

A non-hormonal pill could soon expand men’s birth control options – BIOENGINEER.ORG

SAN DIEGO, March 23, 2022 – Women have many choices for birth control, ranging from pills to patches to intrauterine devices, and partly as a result, they bear most of the burden of preventing pregnancy. But men’s birth control options – and, therefore, responsibilities – could soon be expanding. Today, scientists report a non-hormonal male … Read more

Only 40% of Women Giving Birth in the U.S. Had Good Heart Health Prior to Pregnancy

More than half of women, 20-44 years of age, who gave birth in the US in 2019 had at least one cardiovascular risk factor, including overweight / obesity, hypertension or diabetes, before becoming pregnant. Heart health before pregnancy was worse among those who lived in the South and Midwest, and better among women in the … Read more

Predicting Premature Birth With Epigenetic Biomarkers

A signature found in the cheek cells of mothers and fathers of preterm infants may help develop a test to determine whether a pregnancy may end too early. Such a test could help prevent premature births and the many resulting health impacts on infants by alerting medical providers to the need for early intervention measures. … Read more

We Think We’ve Spotted the Mysterious Birth of a Black Hole

Image of a Wolf Rayet star – potentially before collapsing into a black hole. Credit: ESO / L. Calçada Astronomers are increasingly drawing back the curtains on black holes. In the past few years, we have finally captured actual photos of these fearsome creatures and measured the[{” attribute=””>gravitational waves – ripples in spacetime – that … Read more