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Categories: Living Well, Pregnancy and Childbirth

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Child Development Living Well
Published

AI outperforms humans in standardized tests of creative potential      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

In a recent study, 151 human participants were pitted against ChatGPT-4 in three tests designed to measure divergent thinking, which is considered to be an indicator of creative thought.

Birth Defects Child Development Children's Health Pregnancy and Childbirth Psychology Research
Published

New study links placental oxygen levels to fetal brain development      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

A new study shows oxygenation levels in the placenta, formed during the last three months of fetal development, are an important predictor of cortical growth (development of the outermost layer of the brain or cerebral cortex) and is likely a predictor of childhood cognition and behavior.

Child Development Children's Health Depression Infant's Health Mental Health Research Parenting Pregnancy and Childbirth Psychology Research Today's Healthcare
Published

Intervention reduces likelihood of developing postpartum anxiety and depression by more than 70%      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

Results from a large clinical trial show that an intervention for anxiety provided to pregnant women living in Pakistan significantly reduced the likelihood of the women developing moderate-to-severe anxiety, depression, or both six weeks after birth.

Living Well
Published

Researchers overestimate their own honesty      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

The average researcher thinks they are better than their colleagues at following good research practice. They also think that their own research field is better than other research fields at following good research practice. The results point to a risk of becoming blind to one's own shortcomings.

Infant's Health Pregnancy and Childbirth
Published

Study of 1.2+M births reveals associations between excess heat exposure and preterm births      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

In the face of increasing temperatures globally, a new study of 1.2 million births over two decades has shown a strong association between the risk of pre-term birth and exposure to extreme hot temperatures in the third trimester of pregnancy. The data suggested that this association with extreme temperature might be reduced by the level of greenery in a pregnant person's residential surrounds. The findings suggest health services should consider preparing for an increase in preterm births as our climate warms.

Fertility Pregnancy and Childbirth
Published

Oocytes outsmart toxic proteins to preserve long-term female fertility      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

The accumulation of misfolded or damaged proteins in long-lived, non-dividing cells like neurons are linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. A study now finds that the build-up of these toxic proteins also influences oocyte quality and female fertility. The researchers discovered that mouse oocytes have specialized structures which roam the cytoplasm and act like a clean-up crew which capture and hold onto protein aggregates, rendering them harmless. Failure to degrade the toxic proteins led to the formation of defective eggs. 3 in 5 (60%) of mouse embryos that inherited the toxic proteins failed to complete the very earlies stages of development. The study presents a new frontier to explore the underlying mechanisms of poor oocyte quality, which is the leading cause of female infertility.

Fertility Pregnancy and Childbirth
Published

Scientists discover new target for reversible, non-hormonal male birth control      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

Scientists discovered a new target for reversible, non-hormonal male birth control. The drug, an HDAC inhibitor, blocked sperm production and fertility in male mice without affecting libido or future reproduction.

Birth Defects Child Development Children's Health Depression Infant's Health Mental Health Research Parenting Pregnancy and Childbirth Psychology Research Today's Healthcare
Published

Stress during pregnancy can lead to early maturation of first-born daughters      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

Researchers have found a correlation between early signs of adrenal puberty in first-born daughters and their mothers' having experienced high levels of prenatal stress. They did not find the same result in boys or daughters who were not first-born.

Fertility Pregnancy and Childbirth
Published

Male fertility gene discovery reveals path to success for sperm      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

The discovery of a pair of genes that work in perfect harmony to protect male fertility could provide new insights into some unexplained cases of the most severe form of infertility, research suggests.

Infant's Health Pregnancy and Childbirth
Published

COVID-19 vaccination and boosting during pregnancy protects infants for six months, study finds      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

Women who receive an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination or booster during pregnancy can provide their infants with strong protection against symptomatic COVID-19 infection for at least six months after birth, according to a new study. These findings reinforce the importance of receiving both a COVID-19 vaccine and booster during pregnancy to ensure that infants are born with robust protection that lasts until they are old enough to be vaccinated.

Child Development Living Well
Published

Great apes playfully tease each other      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

Babies playfully tease others as young as eight months of age. Since language is not required for this behavior, similar kinds of playful teasing might be present in non-human animals. Now cognitive biologists and primatologists have documented playful teasing in four species of great apes. Like joking behavior in humans, ape teasing is provocative, persistent, and includes elements of surprise and play. Because all four great ape species used playful teasing, it is likely that the prerequisites for humor evolved in the human lineage at least 13 million years ago.

Children's Health Diet and Weight Loss Fertility Infant's Health Pregnancy and Childbirth
Published

Genetic cause of low birth weight among children conceived after fertility treatment      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

A medical researcher has identified a genetic cause for the increased risk of low birth weight in babies born following assisted reproductive technologies such as IVF.

Chronic Illness Diabetes Dietary Supplements and Minerals Pregnancy and Childbirth
Published

Heart organoids simulate pregestational diabetes-induced congenital heart disease      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

An advanced human heart organoid system can be used to model embryonic heart development under pregestational diabetes-like conditions, researchers report. The organoids recapitulate hallmarks of pregestational diabetes-induced congenital heart disease found in mice and humans. The findings also showed that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and lipid imbalance are critical factors contributing to these disorders, which could be ameliorated with exposure to omega-3s.

Children's Health Pregnancy and Childbirth
Published

Are environmental toxins putting future generations at risk?      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

In a study that signals potential reproductive and health complications in humans, now and for future generations, researchers have concluded that fathers exposed to environmental toxins, notably DDT, may produce sperm with health consequences for their children.

Birth Defects Nutrition Pregnancy and Childbirth Staying Healthy
Published

Pregnant women should avoid ultraprocessed, fast foods, experts urge      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

Research shows that phthalates, a class of chemicals associated with plastics, can shed from the wrapping, packaging and even from plastic gloves worn by food handlers into food. Once consumed during pregnancy, the chemicals can get into the bloodstream, through the placenta and then into the fetal bloodstream. The chemical can cause oxidative stress and an inflammatory cascade within the fetus, researchers noted. Previous literature has indicated that exposure to phthalates during pregnancy can increase the risk of low birth weight, preterm birth and child mental health conditions such as autism and ADHD.

Living Well
Published

Smart earrings can monitor a person's temperature      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

Researchers introduced the Thermal Earring, a wireless wearable that continuously monitors a user's earlobe temperature. Potential applications include tracking signs of ovulation, stress, eating and exercise. The smart earring prototype is about the size and weight of a small paperclip and has a 28-day battery life.

Birth Defects Chronic Illness Depression Mental Health Research Pregnancy and Childbirth Psychology Research
Published

Researchers make progress toward developing blood tests for psychiatric and neurological disorders      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

Researchers used genetic material from human blood and lab-grown brain cells say they have made progress in developing a blood test to identify disease-associated changes in the brain specifically linked to postpartum depression and other psychiatric and neurological disorders.

Living Well
Published

How teachers make ethical judgments when using AI in the classroom      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

A teacher's gender and comfort with technology factor into whether artificial intelligence is adopted in the classroom, as shown in a new report.

Pregnancy and Childbirth
Published

Gut microbiome changes during pregnancy may influence immune system response      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

A new study identifies numerous pathways by which the gut microbiome may change the immune system.

Chronic Illness Pregnancy and Childbirth Women's Health - General
Published

The unexpected long-term consequences of female fertility      (via sciencedaily.com)     Original source 

The constant remodeling of the organs of the female reproductive tract during the reproductive cycle leads to fibrosis and chronic inflammation over the years. Scientists have now uncovered these unexpected long-term consequences of female reproductive function in mice.