Maternal stress alters offspring gut, brain through vaginal microbiome The neonate is exposed to the maternal vaginal microbiota during birth, providing the primary source for normal gut colonization, host immune maturation, and metabolism. These early interactions between the host and microbiota occur during a critical window of neurodevelopment, suggesting early life as an important period of cross talk between the developing gut and brain. Changes in the vaginal microbiome are associated with effects on offspring gut microbiota and on the developing brain.
Prenatal DDT exposure tied to nearly four-fold increase in breast cancer risk Women who were exposed to higher levels of the pesticide DDT in utero were nearly four times more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer as adults than women who were exposed to lower levels before birth.
Researchers find molecular mechanisms within fetal lungs that initiate labor Researchers have identified two proteins in a fetus’ lungs responsible for initiating the labor process, providing potential new targets for preventing preterm birth. They discovered that the proteins SRC-1 and SRC-2 activate genes inside the fetus' lungs near full term, leading to an inflammatory response in the mother's uterus that initiates labor
Folate bio markers determined An international paper on folate bio markers is part of an initiative to provide evidence-based guidance for the global nutrition and public health community. The comprehensive study on folate, an essential B vitamin required for DNA synthesis and normal growth and development, represents a consensus of the top folate scientists globally. A major birth defect affecting the spinal cord -- spinabifida, for example -- and brain can be prevented by maternal consumption of sufficient folate prior to and during the very early stages of fetal development.