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Brain-dead woman gives birth in Poland

A brain-dead Polish woman was kept alive for 55 days so that she could give birth, a hospital official said Tuesday, adding that the premature baby showed no signs of serious complications.

Genetics

Length of pregnancy alters the child's DNA

Researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have, together with an international team, mapped the relationship between length of pregnancy and chemical DNA changes in more than 6,000 newborn babies. For each week's longer ...

Obstetrics & gynaecology

Placental function linked to brain injuries associated with autism

Allopregnanolone (ALLO), 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 ...

Immunology

Even the fetus has gut bacteria, study shows

A study in humans and mice demonstrated that a fetus has its own microbiome, or communities of bacteria living in the gut, which are known to play important roles in the immune system and metabolism. Researchers also confirmed ...

Genetics

Placenta is a dumping ground for genetic defects

In the first study of the genomic architecture of the human placenta, scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the University of Cambridge and their collaborators have confirmed that the normal structure of the placenta ...

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Preterm birth

In humans, preterm birth refers to the birth of a baby of less than 37 weeks gestational age. Premature birth, commonly used as a synonym for preterm birth, refers to the birth of a premature infant. Because it is by far the most common cause of prematurity, preterm birth is the major cause of neonatal mortality in developed countries. Premature infants are at greater risk for short and long term complications, including disabilities and impediments in growth and mental development. Significant progress has been made in the care of premature infants, but not in reducing the prevalence of preterm birth. The cause for preterm birth is in many situations elusive and unknown; many factors appear to be associated with the development of preterm birth, making the reduction of preterm birth a challenging proposition.

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