August 22, 2013 |
Nothing gets our attention like pain. But pain is more than the body's miniature cattle prod to get us to heed a wound, rest a swollen ankle, or stop eating chili peppers. Pain may be the language between animals and microbes. Far from being a product of an inflamed immune system, aggravated nerves far from the spine and brain appear to communicate with invading bacteria and regulate the fight against them, according to a study published online Wednesday in the journal Nature.
July 10, 2013 |
An immune system that ensures survival is one of the earliest gifts from a mother to her child. But sometimes, that gift can be a Trojan horse, sending soldiers that are programmed to attack the body's own antigens into the fetus, where they interfere with brain development. The result is maternal autoantibody related (MAR) autism, which may account for as much as 23% of the cases of that spectrum of brain disorders. Now UC Davis researchers believe they have found the targets of these maternal autoantibodies, a potential step in the path toward preventive treatment for women contemplating pregnancy.
November 24, 2013 |
A type of brain cell once thought to be little more than the neuron's supportive sidekick may have a lead role in pruning the electrochemical connections that are crucial to brain development, learning, memory and cognition, a new study suggests. Astrocytes, a type of glial cell, turn out to be veritable Pac-men, steadily gobbling up weak, extraneous and redundant synapses that are the vital link between neurons, according to a study published online Sunday in the journal Nature.
October 9, 2012 |
Taking a common class of antidepressants called serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SRIs, during pregnancy alters the developmental time-course of the child's language processing, according to a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While the results are striking, they hardly suggest the practice should be stopped: The researchers found that the children of women who are depressed while pregnant and who do not take medication are also born with an altered course of development.
November 26, 2012 |
In a finding that points to a link between environmental toxins and autism, a new study shows that children who were exposed to the highest levels of traffic-related air pollution during gestation and in early infancy were three times more likely to be diagnosed with the neurodevelopmental disorder than were those whose early exposure to such pollutants was very low. The study , published Monday in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that...
July 3, 2006 |
ARITHMETIC flashcards at the age of 3 won't unleash the next Einstein. Nor will choosing a precise combination of educational toys guarantee a future good job and happy life. It's attention and play with adoring adults that stimulates brain development -- not just in individual infants, but in the nation's future workforce.
August 31, 2012 |
Scientists recently reported they had pieced together a high-quality sequence of an archaic human relative, the Denisovans. Among other things, the researchers took a close look at the ways in which we differ from these people, who were named after the place where their traces were discovered: Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia. Here's a little more about the things the scientists found that didn't make it into the article about the Denisovan genome we published Thursday . It's "fascinating" to see the DNA changes that spread to most or all modern humans since our line split off from that of the Denisovans and the Neanderthals, said senior author Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 1990 |
As the dramatic abortion debate plays out in courtrooms and legislatures across the nation, a basic and vitally important question arises ever more insistently--when does human life begin? The Roman Catholic Church claims conception is life's starting point, whereas most current abortion laws are keyed to when the fetus might survive if born prematurely (at the end of the second trimester).
November 13, 2007 |
The brains of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder develop more slowly than those of other children but eventually catch up, according to a government study published Monday that suggests ADHD may be a transient condition, at least for some. Using advanced imaging techniques, scientists found that the cortices of children with ADHD reach peak thickness an average of three years later than children without the disorder.
September 7, 1998
Although the fetus weighs well under a pound, the major organs and systems of the body are formed by the end of the first trimester. MONTH ONE The embryo develops a simple brain, spine and central nervous system. Weeks 3-8: Greatest sensitivity to teratogens. Week 4: The skin cells begin to form in two layers. MONTH TWO Week 5: Fetal cells in mother's blood can be used to identify birth defects. The heart is less than a half-inch in diameter and begins to beat.