Four pregnant women sitting in chairs
Epigenetic Changes to Placenta Correlate with Maternal Depression
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.
ABOVE: MODIFIED FROM © ISTOCK.COM, Vladimir Kononok
Epigenetic Changes to Placenta Correlate with Maternal Depression
Epigenetic Changes to Placenta Correlate with Maternal Depression

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.

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.

ABOVE: MODIFIED FROM © ISTOCK.COM, Vladimir Kononok

reproductive biology

Chelonibia testudinaria barnacle on turtle shell
Some Barnacles Can Move Around to Improve Feeding Position
Chloe Tenn | Oct 6, 2021
The Scientist spoke with marine biologist and barnacle researcher John Zardus about why turtle barnacles—previously thought to be immobile—in fact slowly travel. He thinks the answer is food.
Pink-toned illustration of the uterus with a zoom of the inflamed cervix and of the uterine endometrium and immune cells found there
Infographic: Research Questions to Be Tackled by Uterus Transplants
Jef Akst | Aug 1, 2021
Scientists are banking various samples from recipients of donated uteruses to learn all they can about the biology of the organ, and about transplantation more generally.
A New View of My Own Past
Jef Akst | Aug 1, 2021
Hearing others’ perspectives on infertility and pregnancy has me reconsidering my own reproductive journey.
Infographic: Maternal Microbiota Has Lasting Effects on Offspring
Carolyn A. Thomson, Kathy D. McCoy | Aug 1, 2021
Work in rodents shows that the bacteria living in a mother’s gut can produce immunomodulatory metabolites and influence the production of maternal antibodies—both of which can affect her offspring’s development.
The Role of Mom’s Microbes During Pregnancy
Carolyn A. Thomson, Kathy D. McCoy | Aug 1, 2021
Bacteria in the gut influence the production of antibodies and themselves secrete metabolites. In a pregnant woman, these compounds may influence immune development of her fetus.
An illustration of flowers in the shape of the female reproductive tract
Uterus Transplants Hit the Clinic
Jef Akst | Aug 1, 2021
With human research trials resulting in dozens of successful deliveries in the US and abroad, doctors move toward offering the surgery clinically, while working to learn all they can about uterine and transplant biology from the still-rare procedure.
Opinion: How Biomedicine Could Transform Human Reproduction
Henry T. Greely | Aug 1, 2021
CRISPR and other innovations are likely to open up a wealth of new options for how people have children.
A collection of headshots
Contributors
The Scientist Staff | Aug 1, 2021
Meet some of the people featured in the August 2021 issue of The Scientist.
Illustration of two rats, one male and one female, that are surgically joined. The male has a uterus transplanted in, and both have embryos transplanted into their uteruses.
Study that Impregnated Male Rats Stirs Controversy
Andy Tay | Jun 25, 2021
A combination of approaches, including uterus transplantation and the joining of two animals’ circulatory systems, allowed males to bear pups, according to a preprint. But some experts say the experiments were not justified.  
pcos polycystic ovary syndrome hormone amh epigenetics methylation transgenerational inheritance
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome May Be Inherited Epigenetically
Katarina Zimmer | Feb 9, 2021
Female mice modeling the hormonal disorder can pass symptoms down for several generations, likely via changes in genome methylation that are similarly observed in women with PCOS.
Eight Proteins Turn Mouse Stem Cells into Egglike Cells
Ashley Yeager | Dec 16, 2020
The identification of the transcription factors that elicit oocyte growth will aid reproductive biology research and might help women with fertility issues, scientists say.  
Single-Cell Analysis of Ovarian Cortex Fails to Find Stem Cells
Amy Schleunes | Mar 6, 2020
The controversial oogonial stem cells eluded a team of Swedish researchers who mapped high-quality tissue samples of the human ovary, prompting more questions about the cells’ existence.  
Swamp Wallabies Can Have Two Separate Pregnancies at Once
Lisa Winter | Mar 3, 2020
Before the joey is born, another pregnancy has already started.
Endocrinologist and Reproductive Physiologist Wayne Bardin Dies
Catherine Offord | Nov 18, 2019
Bardin’s work helped lead to the development of long-acting contraceptive devices for women.
Human Testicles Contain Endocannabinoid System Components
Ruth Williams | Sep 19, 2019
Proteins that synthesize, bind, and degrade endocannabinoids are present in the body’s sperm factories, suggesting that the use of cannabis may directly affect them.
sperm mouse sex selection ivf in vitro fertilization x y chromosome
Researchers Develop New Method for Sexing Sperm
Katarina Zimmer | Aug 13, 2019
Scientists found they could sort mouse sperm prior to IVF by treating semen with a drug that selectively slows down X-bearing cells.
Drosophila eggs
Fruit Flies Hide Their Eggs in Plain View
Karl Gruber | Jun 1, 2019
Chemical cues help Drosophila mask their eggs from predators.
Ultrasound of twins
Doctors Report World’s Second Case of “Semi-Identical” Twins
Catherine Offord | Feb 28, 2019
The extremely rare event, thought to be caused by two sperm cells fertilizing the same egg simultaneously, was last reported in 2007.
Spotted Seatrout Continued to Spawn During and After Hurricane Harvey
Jef Akst | Nov 16, 2018
Researchers recovered audio recordings of the fish’s mating calls in the eye of the storm.