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 ...

Medical research

Nanotechnology prevents premature birth in mouse studies

In a study in mice and human cells, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say that they have developed a tiny, yet effective method for preventing premature birth. The vaginally-delivered treatment contains nanosized (billionth ...

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

Blood test for pregnant women can predict premature birth

A new blood test for pregnant women detects with 75-80 percent accuracy whether their pregnancies will end in premature birth. The technique can also be used to estimate a fetus's gestational age—or the mother's due date—as ...

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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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