New robot can help treat rare birth defect that affects the food pipe of babies

New robot can help treat rare birth defect that affects the food pipe of babies

Scientists have created a robot, which can be implanted into a baby’s body to treat a rare birth defect that affects the food pipe. The prototype robotic implant, developed by the researchers at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital in the US, encourages tissue growth in babies. The robot is a small device which is attached to the oesophagus by two rings. An incorporated motor then stimulates the cells by gently pulling the tissue. Using two types of sensors – one to measure the tension in the tissue and…

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The secret to male birth control may lie in this poisonous herb extract

The secret to male birth control may lie in this poisonous herb extract

A plant extract, traditionally used by African warriors as a heart-stopping poison on their arrows, may be used to develop birth control pill for men, a study in mice suggests. Women have many options for oral contraceptives that are safe, effective and reversible, but despite decades of research, men have none. Two types of African plants make the poisonous compound called ouabain. Mammals also produce it in their bodies, though at lower levels that are thought to help control blood pressure; doctors sometimes prescribe small doses of the compound to…

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Would-be moms, beware: Smoking e-cigarettes during pregnancy could cause birth defects

Would-be moms, beware: Smoking e-cigarettes during pregnancy could cause birth defects

Smoking e-cigarettes during pregnancy could cause facial defects in the babies, a study warns. The findings suggested that e-cigarettes pose health risks despite being widely considered a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes. Researchers exposed frog embryos and samples of mammalian neural crest cells to saline infused with e-cigarette vapour. Frogs, like other vertebrates, are similar to humans embryonically, said Amanda Dickinson, from the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in the US. “This means that if a chemical perturbs a frog embryo, it’s likely to do the same thing to a human…

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Marmite could prevent miscarriages and birth defects, study shows

Marmite could prevent miscarriages and birth defects, study shows

Love it or hate it, it turns out that marmite is actually pretty good for our health. Earlier this year we reported that the salty breakfast staple has been shown to boost brain function, and now it seems that it may also be beneficial for pregnant women and their unborn babies, too. A 12-year Australian study has concluded that marmite can reduce the risk of miscarriage and birth defects, as the high levels of vitamin B3 it contains work to treat molecular deficiencies in pregnant women. The research Scientists used genetic sequencing on…

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Moms-to-be, if you have asthma, you are at risk of giving birth to underweight babies

Moms-to-be, if you have asthma, you are at risk of giving birth to underweight babies

Asthma is a chronic disease affecting some 235 million people around the world. According to a recent study, asthma increases the risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery as the patients suffer more often from preeclampsia (PE) and run a higher risk of giving birth to underweight babies. These and other complications during pregnancy and delivery cannot be explained by hereditary or environmental factors, says study. Asthma is a common disease caused by chronic inflammation in the lungs with symptoms of coughing and breathlessness. Using data from the Swedish birth, prescribed drug and…

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Epilepsy drugs may increase birth defect risk

Epilepsy drugs may increase birth defect risk

Exposure to certain anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) during pregnancy may put women at higher risk of having a child with a malformation, or birth defect, says a study. The study based on systematic review of 50 published studies found that exposure in the womb to the anti-epileptic drug sodium valproate was associated with a 10 per cent chance of the child having a significant birth defect and this rose as the dose of the drug increased. The types of birth defect that were increased were skeletal and limb defects, cardiac defects,…

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Babies Born With Low Birth Weight May Be Less Active Later in Life

Babies Born With Low Birth Weight May Be Less Active Later in Life

Babies born with a low birth weight are less likely to be good at sports at school, or to engage in exercise later in life, according to a recent study. The findings showed that those with a low birth weight were less likely to take part in exercise and sports across adulthood, from 36 to 68 years. Although previous studies have shown that a low birth weight can affect sporting ability and exercise levels at a younger age, however, this is the first study that has revealed how low birth relates…

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Weight Gain During Pregnancy May Lead To Preterm Birth

Weight Gain During Pregnancy May Lead To Preterm Birth

Abnormalities in interval between pregnancies, mother’s body mass index (BMI) prior to pregnancy and the amount of weight gain in pregnancy can lead to preterm birth, a new study has found. The study, published in the journal Maternal and Child Health Journal, showed that if these factors were modified, it could reduce the risk of premature births. “The highest risks for premature birth were in women who were underweight, had poor weight gain during pregnancy, or short periods of time between pregnancies. Excessive weight gain in obese women also increased…

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Can Season and Place of Birth Influence Celiac Disease Risk?

Can Season and Place of Birth Influence Celiac Disease Risk?

Winter babies and people born in places with shorter days and less sunlight might have a lower risk of developing celiac disease than peers born in warmer regions or seasons, a Swedish study suggests. About one in 100 people have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestine and interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food. People with celiac disease can’t tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye and barley. Left untreated, the condition can lead to complications such as malnutrition, low bone density, lactose intolerance and…

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Thicker cervical stitch may up premature birth, mortality rate

Thicker cervical stitch may up premature birth, mortality rate

Thicker cervical stitch may up premature birth, mortality rate (Suphat Bhandharangsri/Getty Images) Pregnant women who receive the cervical stitch to prevent miscarriage or premature birth with a thicker thread, can in fact have an increase in the rate of premature birth and baby death as compared with a thinner thread, says a study. cervical stitch also known as cervical cerclage is a treatment for cervical incompetence or insufficiency, when the cervix starts to shorten and open too early during a pregnancy, causing either a late miscarriage or preterm birth, and…

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