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.
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.
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.
Natural killer cells – a vital part of the immune system – have a dual role in protecting against infection and ensuring reproduction. Scientists suggest that the multi-tasking ability of these cells helped humans to spread out of Africa.
Paternal genes advise maternal immune cells on how to build the best womb for developing foetuses, researchers have found.
New insights into pregnancy are resulting from research on the interaction between mother and fetus at the placental interface.