Researchers say that new ‘mini-placentas’ – a cellular model of the early stages of the placenta – could provide a window into early pregnancy and help transform our understanding of reproductive disorders. Details of this new research are published today in the journal Nature.
Smoking, lack of exercise, bad diet and our genes are all well-known risk factors for heart disease, cancer and diabetes. But, as researchers are beginning to understand, the environment in the womb as we first begin to grow may also determine our future.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have succeeded in growing miniature functional models of the lining of the womb (uterus) in culture. These organoids, as they are known, could provide new insights into the early stages of pregnancy and conditions such as endometriosis, a painful condition that affects as many as two million women in the UK.
Eating a high fat and high sugar diet when pregnant leads to metabolic impairments in both the mother and her unborn child, which may 'program' them for potential health complications later in life, a study in mice has shown.
A complication of pregnancy that causes the mother’s blood pressure to rise – often fatally – is more common in women of African descent than any other. Research in Uganda by African and Cambridge researchers is helping to uncover why.
Deficiencies associated with spina bifida, heart defects and placental abnormalities.
The placenta is the interface between the mother and her baby, which means it is not only key to a successful pregnancy, it determines the future health of every one of us.
New insights into pregnancy are resulting from research on the interaction between mother and fetus at the placental interface.
Epigenetics is taking the biomedical research world by storm; three Cambridge scientists use examples from their own research to explain why.