Turns out it is a sterile environment after all.
Some scientists believe that the placenta and amniotic fluid that surrounds a foetus have their own microbiome. A new review refutes this.
Paternal and maternal genes drive fetal development in different directions.
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Genetic conflict may play a role in pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, as well as developmental disorders.
Pandemics over the course of evolution have led to the integration of viruses into our genome.
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Bits of viral genes incorporated into human DNA have been linked to cancer, ALS and schizophrenia. But many of these genes may not be harmful, and could even protect against infectious disease.
We examined male seahorse pouches under the microscope at different stages of pregnancy, and found they develop complex placental structures over time — in similar ways to human pregnancy.
The placenta is one of the least studied organs, but it is the cause of problems in one in ten pregnancies. A virtual placenta is helping researchers to pick up at-risk pregnancies sooner.
Her deep breath has to get to the baby.
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A fetus needs oxygen long before its lungs work and it’s exposed to the air. Some ingenious biochemistry explains how the mother’s blood delivers it.
Delivering a human baby – which has a large, highly developed brain – is risky for mother and baby.
Babies undertake a massive transition during labour and delivery as they move from the supported environment of the uterus to independent existence.
Welcome to the world, little lizard. A three-toed skink (
Saiphos equalis) hatching from an egg.
The evolution of live birth from egg-laying is no mean feat. Now new research reports on the first known example where both eggs and a live birth come from the same lizard pregnancy.
Testosterone is primarily made in the testes, and creates many of the characteristics we see in adult men.
Disorders affecting penis development are among the most common birth defects seen in humans, and rates are on the rise.
The placenta could hold the answers to why HIV positive women report higher rates of premature deliveries.
Humans and underwater animals are the only mammals that don’t eat their placentas.
Don’t follow the celebs: eating the placenta has no proven benefits, and could be dangerous.
We need to change the way we monitor the pregnancies of women born in South Asia to reduce their chance of a stillbirth.
Women born in South Asian countries like India or Pakistan are more likely to have a stillbirth than women born in Australia or New Zealand.
Cytomegalovirus infection in the womb is more common in Australia than infection with listeria or toxoplasma in pregnancy.
We can prevent congenital deafness and intellectual disability due to cytomegalovirus by simple hygiene measures. So, why don’t pregnant women know about this?
Developing lizard embryo beneath placental tissues.
Taking the placenta as a case study, researchers are able to piece together how new organs evolve, by repurposing old tissues and using them to do new jobs.
Researchers are trying to understand how maternal immune responses might contribute to certain neurological disorders in offspring.
A pregnant woman’s immune response may be a risk factor for some neurological conditions like autism and schizophrenia in the baby later on.
There’s a battle for resources going on in there.
Embryos greedily want more resources than their fair share. New research investigates how early in evolution their hormonal tactics arose.
The placenta plays a critical role in pregnancy, fetal development and health throughout life.
An incredibly complex and important organ in its own right, the placenta is only found in mammals. And how it functions has the potential to have profound effects on the lifelong health of the developing foetus.