Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have identified a single-measure biomarker in sperm mitochondrial DNA that may predict male reproductive health and pregnancy success.
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The discovery applies not just to couples seeking care for infertility but also for the general population. This biomarker could become a more accurate predictor of male infertility than semen parameters, on which health care organizations and clinicians have long relied.
“Clinically, the diagnosis of male infertility really hasn’t changed in decades,” says UMass Amherst environmental epigeneticist Richard Pilsner, corresponding author of the study published today, Oct. 6, in the journal Human Reproduction. “In the last 10 to 20 years, there have been major advances in the understanding of the molecular and cellular functions of sperm, but the clinical diagnosis hasn’t changed or caught up.”
In addition to Pilsner, the team of UMass researchers included lead author Allyson Rosati, who wrote the paper as
Women who have suffered unexplained repeated pregnancy loss (uRPL) have altered perceptions and brain responses to male body odours, in comparison to those with no history of uRPL, suggests a new study published today in eLife.
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The results could lead to urgently needed answers for many women who experience repeat miscarriage with no clear underlying explanation.
Around 50% of human conceptions and 15% of human pregnancies result in miscarriage, but only a limited number of these can be explained. Body odour has been linked to many aspects of healthy human reproduction — such as synchrony of menstruation between women who live together, and the influence of body odours of breast-feeding women on the timing of ovulation and menstruation in others.
“Given that sense of smell is associated with human reproduction, we hypothesised that it may also be related to disorders of human reproduction,” explains lead author Liron Rozenkrantz, who
New research from the University of Sydney finds that even low levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy can have an impact on a child’s brain development and is associated with greater psychological and behavioural problems in youth including anxiety, depression and poor attention.
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Published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the study was led by the University’s Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use.
The impact of low-level alcohol use during pregnancy on child development is relatively unknown and there has been extensive debate about whether there is a safe level of consumption.
The researchers investigated whether any alcohol consumption in pregnancy was related to psychological, behavioural, neural and cognitive differences in children aged nine to ten years. With a sample of 9,719 youth, this is the largest study to investigate the impacts of low-level alcohol use during pregnancy. Low levels of drinking were considered
While cannabis use during pregnancy is on the rise, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have found evidence that the resulting children are more likely to have psychopathology in middle childhood.
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The team’s analysis are the first steps in studying the effects of cannabis on children as attitudes surrounding its use change rapidly — recreational adult cannabis use is now legal in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Patterns of usage, too, are changing; one of the fastest-growing subsets of cannabis users may come as a surprise: the pregnant.
“There have been increasingly permissive and lenient attitudes toward cannabis use among pregnant people,” said Sarah Paul, a clinical psychology graduate student. “It has skyrocketed in the past few years,” she added, with data indicating a quick rise from 3% to 7% past-month use.
“Unfortunately, despite the increase in use, we know remarkably little about the potential consequences of
In a new study published in JAMA, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital have examined the association between a positive SARS-CoV-2 test during pregnancy and complications in mothers and their newborn babies. Almost two out of three pregnant women who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were asymptomatic and the researchers found no higher prevalence of complications during delivery or of ill-health in the neonates. However, preeclampsia was more common in infected women.
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On 25 March, Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden launched a screening programme (PCR test) for the new coronavirus for all women admitted for delivery. The researchers behind the present study have collected these data and linked them to data from the Swedish Pregnancy Register for all 2,682 women who gave birth at the hospital between March 25 and July 24, 2020.
In order to investigate the association between test positivity and medical outcomes in both mother and