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Photo of Claudia Gerri
Claudia Gerri Studies the Mysteries of the Placenta
At the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, the developmental biologist is probing the maternal-fetal interface across mammalian species.
Claudia Gerri Studies the Mysteries of the Placenta
Claudia Gerri Studies the Mysteries of the Placenta

At the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, the developmental biologist is probing the maternal-fetal interface across mammalian species.

At the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, the developmental biologist is probing the maternal-fetal interface across mammalian species.

pregnancy
Illustration showing immunology during pregnancy
Infographic: How Immunology Can Influence Pregnancy Outcomes
Tobias R. Kollmann, Arnaud Marchant, and Sing Sing Way | Nov 14, 2022 | 3 min read
Pregnancy-induced changes in the immune system are key to a successful birth. Understanding those changes could allow researchers to protect both mother and child.
Illustration of pregnancy and the immune system
Modulating Immunity to Improve Pregnancy Outcomes
Tobias R. Kollmann, Arnaud Marchant, and Sing Sing Way | Nov 14, 2022 | 10+ min read
Aberrant immune activation, the main cause of prematurity and stillbirths, could be preventable through interventions such as maternal vaccination. 
Cell-Free DNA as Disease Biomarkers
Cell-Free DNA as Disease Biomarkers
The Scientist’s Creative Services Team | 1 min read
In this webinar, Stella Goulopoulou and Iwijn de Vlaminck will discuss how they analyze cell-free DNA to identify biomarkers of various diseases and their complications, including preeclampsia, COVID-19, and transplant rejections.
A portrait shot of Beryl Benacerraf, who wears a black shirt and gold necklace and smiles into the camera, on a bluish gray background.
Obstetrics “Giant” Beryl Benacerraf Dies at 73
Katherine Irving | Oct 26, 2022 | 2 min read
Benacerraf pioneered the use of ultrasound to diagnose fetal syndromes.
A black and white photo of a woman in a plumed hat in a laboratory classroom with several men
Birth of The Pill, 1956–1960
Andy Carstens | Oct 3, 2022 | 2 min read
Researchers overseeing the clinical trial for the first FDA-approved oral contraceptive claimed the drug gave the Puerto Rican participants power over their family planning. Critics claimed the women were exploited.
baby
Maternal smoking during pregnancy alters placental function and fetal growth
Roni Dengler, PhD | 2 min read
Smoking during pregnancy changes marks on placental DNA, altering its responses to environmental stressors.
pregnant belly clad in hospital gown with IV line going into hand
Registry Review Casts Doubt on Causal Link Between Maternal Infection and Autism
Charles Q. Choi, Spectrum | Sep 26, 2022 | 4 min read
Maternal infection during pregnancy may be associated with autism, as previous studies have suggested—but perhaps not in a causal way.
Newborn baby rats lie in a basket
Mother’s Circadian Rhythms Mirrored in Fetal Rat Brains
Bianca Nogrady | Sep 12, 2022 | 2 min read
Before their own central clocks develop, the brains of fetal rats detect their mother’s metabolic cycle to help regulate the expression of certain genes.
The Epigenetic Origins of Allergy and Asthma
The Scientist Speaks Ep. 15 - The Epigenetic Origins of Allergy and Asthma
The Scientist’s Creative Services Team | 1 min read
Epigenetic marks acquired from environmental exposures throughout life influence human health and may even transcend generations.
A pregnant woman gets her blood pressure checked by a doctor
U.K. Health Authority Investigates Epilepsy Drug’s Link to Autism
Peter Hess, Spectrum | Aug 30, 2022 | 3 min read
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s investigation comes after a study showed prenatal exposure to topiramate roughly triples a child’s likelihood of having autism or intellectual disability.
An illustration of a pregnant women wearing a mask, surrounded by microbes
How COVID-19 Affects Pregnancy
Amanda Heidt | Aug 16, 2022 | 10 min read
Evidence thus far shows that pregnant people infected with SARS-CoV-2 are at higher risk for severe disease and death, as well as complications in their pregnancies.
Brain imaging of a fruit fly
Science Snapshot: When Pregnant Flies Crave Ice Cream and Pickles
Lisa Winter | Jul 7, 2022 | 1 min read
A visualization technique shows how fruit flies choose which food to eat.
A clinician in a white lab coat sitting in a chair uses an arm cuff to measure the blood pressure of a pregnant patient sitting across from them.
RNA in Blood Predicts High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
Dan Robitzski | Jan 6, 2022 | 2 min read
Biomarkers in serum correlate with preeclampsia, a condition that can lead to fatal hypertension.
collage of images related to favorite stories, including black and white photo of flowers, illustration of two rats, human body with floating coronaviruses
The Scientist Editors’ Favorite Stories of 2021
The Scientist Staff | Dec 28, 2021 | 5 min read
A look back at some of the articles we most enjoyed reading, writing, and editing this year
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.
Fat Tissue Reorganizes During Pregnancy
Catherine Offord | Aug 1, 2021 | 3 min read
Researchers identify a protein that promotes changes in adipose tissue in vitro and in pregnant mice and may help protect against gestational diabetes in humans.
Birth of Midwifery, Circa 100 CE
Lisa Winter | Aug 1, 2021 | 3 min read
Soranus of Ephesus’s manual shaped the way midwifery was practiced for more than a millennium.
Ten Minute Sabbatical
Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon | Aug 1, 2021 | 4 min read
Take a break from the bench to puzzle and peruse.
Study Looks for Effects of Fetal Exposure to Air Pollution
Jef Akst | Aug 1, 2021 | 5 min read
By measuring various pollutants in the immediate vicinity of pregnant women and tracking brain development of their children, researchers in Barcelona aim to untangle any influence the former has on the latter.
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