Monthly Archives: January 2017

Scientists reprogram embryonic stem cells to expand their potential cell fates

Pluripotent stem cells can develop into most tissues of the organism, but they cannot develop into extra-embryonic tissue — the placenta or yolk sac, for example — like the one-celled fertilized egg or two-celled zygote. Researchers found that by blocking a specific microRNA, pluripotent stem cells can regain the ability to become extra-embryonic tissue, providing a way to expand the developmental potential of iPC cells with implications for regenerative medicine and stem cell-based therapies.

Biomarker in pregnant women linked to depression, low fetal birth weight

Depression is very common during pregnancy, with as many as one in seven women suffering from the illness and more than a half million women impacted by postpartum depression in the U.S. alone. The disorder not only affects the mother’s mood, but has also been linked to influencing the newborn’s development, according to recent research. In a study, researchers found that BDNF levels change during pregnancy, and can cause depression in the mother and low birth weight in the baby.

The promise and peril of emerging reproductive technologies

While in vitro gametogenesis carries a promise to unravel the fundamental mechanisms of devastating genetic forms of infertility and to pave the way to a range of new therapies, the technique also raises a number of vexing legal and ethical questions that society should address before IVG becomes ready for prime-time clinical use in human patients, a trio of scholars argues.