How alcohol leads to birth defects – clues from embryo heart images

Scientists have found a way to image the very early development of the embryonic heart in research that may help them to explain how drinking alcohol in pregnancy can lead to heart defects at the baby’s birth. Pregnancy / Obstetrics News From Medical News Today

Low folate in male diet linked to risk of offspring birth defects

Previous research has shown that what mothers eat during pregnancy affects the health of their offspring. But now, a new study suggests that a father’s diet prior to conception could also play an important role in their child’s health, particularly when it comes to consumption of folate. Pregnancy / Obstetrics News From Medical News Today

Endocrine-disrupting activity linked to birth defects, infertility near fracking sites

A controversial oil and natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, uses many chemicals that can disrupt the body’s hormones, according to new research accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrinology.Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, are substances that can interfere with the normal functioning of the endocrine system. Pregnancy / Obstetrics News […]

New genetic cause of male reproductive birth defects identified

A previously unrecognized genetic cause for two types of birth defects found in newborn boys has described in a report. Cryptorchidism is characterized by the failure of descent of one or both testes into the scrotum during fetal development. In the adult man, the testes produce sperm and the male hormone, testosterone. Hypospadias is the […]

UK abortion charity urges that ministers act to reduce avoidable birth defects

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) is urging the UK’s health ministers to implement recommendations to fortify flour with the vitamin folic acid to reduce cases of neural tube defects (NTDs) like spina bifida and anencephaly in pregnancy. There are an estimated 1,000 cases of these conditions diagnosed every year in the UK, not including […]

Link between missing DNA, birth defects confirmed

The genetic basis for a particular human syndrome that involves cleft palate, epilepsy and respiratory difficulties has been identified by researchers. Better understanding of these genes could help guide treatments for related conditions. “Epilepsy and cleft palate affect tens of thousands of children in the U.S. alone each year,” authors said, “and respiratory failure is […]

Zebrafish neuron research may improve understanding of birth defects like spina bifida

The zebrafish, a tropical freshwater fish similar to a minnow and native to the southeastern Himalayan region, is well established as a key tool for researchers studying human diseases, including brain disorders. Using zebrafish, scientists can determine how individual neurons develop, mature and support basic functions like breathing, swallowing and jaw movement. Pregnancy / Obstetrics […]

Defects in minor class splicing likely cause of developmental disease

Melbourne researchers have made a major step forward in understanding how changes in an essential cellular process, called minor class splicing, may cause a severe developmental disease.Using zebrafish, which is a popular laboratory model for studying development, the researchers discovered that the action of a protein called Rnpc3 is critical for the growth of many […]

National Birth Defects Prevention Month underscores need for higher choline intake

Recent research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) found that during pregnancy, and particularly during the third trimester, large amounts of choline may be needed to support fetal development. Conclusions of the research revealed that current recommendations may be too low. Pregnancy / Obstetrics News From Medical News Today