Pregnancy :: Drinking during pregnancy damages brain of unborn

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is a significant public health problem and may result in a wide range of adverse outcomes for the child. Many Fetal Alcohol Syndrome patients have problems coping with stress; they have learning disabilities, infections, and increased susceptibility to diseases.

Pregnancy :: Pregnant women at risk for unnecessary operations due to misdiagnosis of appendicitis

New research published in the October issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons suggests that pregnant women suspected of having appendicitis are often misdiagnosed and undergo unnecessary appendectomies (removal of the appendix) that can result in early delivery or loss of the fetus. The study points to the need to require more accurate diagnosis to avoid unnecessary operations and the potential for fetal loss.

Breast Cancer :: Hip size of mothers linked to breast cancer in daughters

In a study of the maternity records of more than 6,000 women, David J.P. Barker, M.D., Ph.D., and Kent Thornburg, Ph.D., of Oregon Health & Science University discovered a strong correlation between the size and shape of a woman’s hips and her daughter’s risk of breast cancer. Wide, round hips, the researchers postulated, represent markers of high sex hormone concentrations in the mother, which increase her daughter’s vulnerability to breast cancer.

Newborn :: Gene-chip studies provide new leads in treating lung disease of premature newborns

Some 20 to 40 percent of extremely premature infants suffer abnormal lung development leading to bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a chronic lung disease that can cause long-term breathing problems. Little is known about how to predict whether a premature infant will develop BPD in the weeks after birth, much less how to prevent or treat it. Now, gene-chip studies of these tiny babies’ umbilical cords provide unexpected, much-needed leads into predicting and treating this debilitating condition.

Bird Flu :: New research shows how H5N1 virus causes disease

H5N1 influenza, also known as avian influenza, is considered a major global threat to human health, with high fatality rates. While little had been known about the specific effects of H5N1 on organs and cells targeted by the virus, researchers at Beijing University, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and SUNY Downstate report in the September 29, 2007 issue of the Lancet detailed studies of human H5N1 victims that shed light on the anatomic distribution of the virus and its pathogenesis.

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