Researchers inactivated the gene for CHD7 — whose mutation causes congenital birth defects — in mouse embryos, and then rigorously probed how this change in developing cardiac neural crest cells caused severe defects in the outflow tract and great arteries, leading to perinatal lethality.
Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine have been awarded a five-year, $8.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the causes of spina bifida, the most common structural defect of the central nervous system.
In the earliest hours of your embryonic status, cells were developing and multiplying, critical processes were starting up, networks were connecting and genetic codes — for better or worse — were directing the whole project.
That early development is the focus of University of Delaware biologist Shuo Wei’s research. Now his work has won more than $1.8 million in support from the National Institutes of Health.
A new study from the University of Georgia has shown that exposure to a now-banned flame retardant can alter the genetic code in sperm, leading to major health defects in children of exposed parents.
Human genetic diversity wouldn’t be possible without DNA crossovers in egg and sperm cells. Two Harvard Medical School studies provide new insights into how crossovers go right–and wrong, leading to infertility, miscarriages and birth defects.
Developing frog embryo brains damaged by nicotine exposure can be repaired by treatment with ionoceutical drugs that restore bioelectric patterns in the embryo, followed by repair of normal anatomy and brain function. The research suggests therapeutic drugs may be used to help repair birth defects.
In a follow-up to the landmark 2011 study that demonstrated prenatal surgery for spina bifida has measurable benefits over surgery after birth for one of the most disabling neural tube defects, researchers have published new findings. These findings show significant physical and emotional benefits a decade later in school-age children who received corrective surgery in the womb for myelomeningocele, the most severe form of spina bifida.
At a glance:
Experiments in worms reveal the molecular damage caused by DEHP, a chemical commonly used to make plastics flexible
DEHP interferes with proper cell division during egg formation, leads to excessive DNA breakage, alters chromosome appearance
Abnormalities help explain known link between DEHP and human birth defects, male infertility
If replicated in further research, the insights can help inform regulatory changes, consumer choice