Monthly Archives: February 2016

Zika virus linked to stillbirth, other symptoms in Brazil

In January, a pregnant Brazilian woman infected with the Zika virus had a stillborn baby who had signs of severe tissue swelling as well as central nervous system defects that caused near-complete loss of brain tissue. It is the first report to indicate a possible association of congenital Zika virus and damage to tissues outside the central nervous system, say researchers.

Stem cell technique makes sperm in a dish

Scientists have finally succeeded in creating functioning sperm from mice in the laboratory. To accomplish this feat, the researchers coaxed mouse embryonic stem cells to turn into functional sperm-like cells, which were then injected into egg cells to produce fertile mouse offspring. The work provides a platform for generating sperm cells that could one day be used to treat male infertility in humans.

Increased demand for ‘vaginal seeding’ from new parents, despite lack of evidence

Doctors are seeing a rise in the number of parents requesting so-called ‘vaginal seeding’ for babies born by cesarean section, according to a new article. The practice, which is also known as microbirthing, involves taking a swab from the mother’s vagina and wiping this over the baby’s mouth, eyes, face and skin shortly after birth by caesarean section. The idea is that vaginal seeding allows a baby born via caesarean section to come into contact with bacteria from the birth canal. The hope is this may boost their gut bacteria, and reduce risk of conditions such as allergies or obesity.