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A pregnant woman blowing her nose.
Viral Immune Responses Suppress a Gestational Hormone
Influenza infection activates a pathway that leads to a detrimental drop in progesterone during pregnancy in mice.
Viral Immune Responses Suppress a Gestational Hormone
Viral Immune Responses Suppress a Gestational Hormone

Influenza infection activates a pathway that leads to a detrimental drop in progesterone during pregnancy in mice.

Influenza infection activates a pathway that leads to a detrimental drop in progesterone during pregnancy in mice.

placenta

3D rendered anatomy illustration of a fetus in a womb.
Placental Gene Expression Hints at Preterm Birth
Deanna MacNeil, PhD | Feb 12, 2024 | 4 min read
Researchers mapped out cellular changes in the maternal-fetal interface to uncover term and preterm labor complexities.
Infographic showing placenta development
Infographic: Early Placenta Development Sets the Stage
Danielle Gerhard, PhD | Dec 4, 2023 | 2 min read
During early pregnancy, the placenta remodels the uterine environment to support fetal growth
3d rendered medically accurate illustration of a human embryo anatomy
The Ephemeral Life of the Placenta
Danielle Gerhard, PhD | Dec 4, 2023 | 10+ min read
Recent advances in modeling the human placenta, the least understood organ, may inform placental disorders like preeclampsia.
A fluorescence microscopy image of placenta tissue made up of cells dyed blue, purple, pink and green on a black background.
The Cellular Intricacies of the Human Placenta
Ida Emilie Steinmark, PhD | Jul 5, 2023 | 2 min read
Rare samples saved 35 years ago helped researchers map gene expression and cell differentiation in first trimester placentas.
Photo of Claudia Gerri
Claudia Gerri Studies the Mysteries of the Placenta
Katherine Irving | Feb 1, 2023 | 3 min read
At the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, the developmental biologist is probing the maternal-fetal interface across mammalian species.
illustration of neurons in blue and microglia in orange
Ancient Viral DNA Helps Mouse Brains Fight Infection
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Oct 24, 2022 | 3 min read
Mammals that give birth to live young may have evolved to make use of the remnants of viruses in their genomes to ward off pathogens, a study suggests. 
baby
Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy Alters Placental Function and Fetal Growth
Roni Dengler, PhD | Feb 3, 2022 | 2 min read
Smoking during pregnancy changes marks on placental DNA, altering its responses to environmental stressors.
Four pregnant women sitting in chairs
Epigenetic Changes to Placenta Correlate with Maternal Depression
Chloe Tenn | Feb 1, 2022 | 2 min read
An epigenome-wide association study found more than a dozen methylation changes in placental DNA that correlated with expectant mothers’ self-reports of depression and stress during their pregnancy.
A watercolor of a baby in a heart-shaped womb
Sex of Fetus Affects Immune Response to COVID-19 During Pregnancy
Amanda Heidt | Oct 20, 2021 | 3 min read
Male placentas produce more proinflammatory molecules than female placentas, while people carrying male fetuses produce fewer antibodies in response to infection, a study finds.
A scanning electron micrograph of a fetal gut, pseudocolored in yellow and blue
Microbes in Human Fetuses Spur Immune Development
Abby Olena, PhD | Jun 3, 2021 | 4 min read
Researchers identify live bacteria in fetal guts, skin, lungs, and placentas that activate memory T cells, indicating that early exposure to microbes could help educate the developing immune system.
A pregnant figure is shaded in blue and outlined in blue, pink, and purple
Blood Biomarkers Predict the Onset of Labor: Study
Abby Olena, PhD | May 6, 2021 | 3 min read
Researchers integrated information from 45 protein, metabolite, and immune data points to identify a window two to four weeks before a pregnant person will go into labor.
pregnant covid-19 coronavirus sars-cov-2 pandemic antibodies vaccine pregnancy newborn fetus cord blood igg
COVID-19 Vaccines for Pregnant Moms May Protect Newborns
Catherine Shaffer | Feb 17, 2021 | 4 min read
A case study finds SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in placental cord blood after maternal vaccination.
New RNA-Based Tool Could Assess Preeclampsia Risk
Amanda Heidt | Sep 1, 2020 | 2 min read
Transcripts circulating in the blood provide real-time information about maternal, fetal, and placental health.
A Trick that Helps Horses and Cattle Avoid Metastatic Cancer
Shawna Williams | Apr 1, 2020 | 2 min read
Researchers find connective tissue has a crucial role to play in whether cancer cells metastasize.
Circulating Fetal Cells Sequenced for Prenatal Testing Study
Emily Makowski | Dec 10, 2019 | 3 min read
Trophoblasts, collected from the mother during a blood draw, can determine fetal genetic abnormalities currently diagnosed through amniocentesis or chorionic villi sampling.
Placental Microbiome’s Existence Challenged
Abby Olena, PhD | Jul 31, 2019 | 4 min read
The authors of a new study find no evidence for bacteria in the placenta, but others in the field question their interpretation of the data.
Kurt Benirschke holding a box of frozen vials
Conservation Biologist and Placenta Expert Kurt Benirschke Dies
Shawna Williams | Sep 14, 2018 | 2 min read
He established the San Diego Zoo’s cryopreserved Frozen Zoo.
Placental Health Influences Baby’s Future Schizophrenia Risk, Study Suggests
Shawna Williams | May 29, 2018 | 1 min read
Complications during pregnancy may act via the placenta to magnify the effects of genetic risk factors.
Anti-Preeclampsia Hormone Discovered
Ruth Williams | Jun 29, 2017 | 3 min read
A small, placenta-produced peptide fixes the pregnancy-related condition in mice. 
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