Stéphanie Bayol and Neil Stickland at the Royal Veterinary College, London fed female rats a “junk food” diet of crisps, cheese, muffins and other processed foods throughout pregnancy and lactation.
The offspring, who were overweight at birth, were born with a taste for junk-food themselves. But even when fed a healthy diet, the junk-food babies had a host of medical problems that lasted beyond adolescence into adulthood.
The rats had raised cholesterol and triglyceride levels – both associated with heart disease. Insulin and glucose in the blood were also unusually high, known to be a cause of type-2 diabetes. And the rats remained significantly podgier than normal with extra fat around the kidneys, another diabetes risk-factor.
The female offspring were particularly badly affected, expressing high levels of glucose and the appetite-promoting hormone leptin making them very prone to obesity.
"It seems that a mother's diet whilst pregnant and breastfeeding is very important for the long term health of her child," says Dr Bayol. “This does not mean that obesity and poor health is inevitable and it is important that we take care of ourselves and live a healthy lifestyle. But it does mean that mothers must eat responsibly whilst pregnant."
But will these results translate to humans? Very probably, says Professor Stickland. "Humans share a number of fundamental biological systems with rats, so there is good reason to assume the effects we see in rats may be repeated in humans," he says. "Our research certainly tallies with epidemiological studies linking children's weight to that of their parents."
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03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
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30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
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Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
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26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
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