Monthly Archives: November 2015

Levels of mercury in dolphins linked to exposure in humans, groundbreaking study finds

What do mercury levels in dolphins say about mercury levels in humans? Quite a bit, according to a new study that sheds light on the potential dangers of consuming locally caught seafood. This is the first time that researchers have closed the loop between marine mammal and human health, by taking findings from their research and applying them to explore the potential risks facing humans living in the same region.

Progesterone supplements do not improve outcomes for recurrent miscarriages, study shows

Progesterone supplements in the first trimester of pregnancy do not improve outcomes in women with a history of unexplained recurrent miscarriages, new research shows. The findings mark the end of a five year trial and provide a definitive answer to 60 years of uncertainty on the use of progesterone treatment for women with unexplained recurrent losses.

Mother nature may have solution for lowering cholesterol in pregnant women

Researchers are studying whether plant sterols can be used as a natural alternative to drug therapy for pregnant women who have high cholesterol. While it’s normal for a woman’s cholesterol to spike during pregnancy, excessive lipid levels — whether from genetic or dietary reasons — can have negative health effects on the offspring, both early in life and later on as adults.

Silence of the genes: New insights into genomic imprinting

Scientists are closer to understanding the mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of genomic imprinting. In this intriguing event, one copy of a gene is 'turned off', or silenced, depending on whether it was derived from the mother or the father. The research team has identified a segment of DNA that is essential in the imprinting process for the closely linked Igf2/H19 genes, two of the first imprinted genes to be discovered. If these genes are incorrectly imprinted, it can lead to the overgrowth (Beckwith--Wiedemann) or dwarfism (Silver Russell) syndromes, and also has a role in some kidney and liver cancers.

Mental health risk for new dads

Anxiety around the arrival of a new baby is just as common as postnatal depression, and the risks for men are nearly as high as for women, researchers have found. A mental health researcher reviewed 43 separate studies and found anxiety before and after a child arrives is just as prevalent as depression, affecting around 1 in 10 men, around half the rate for women.