Authors of a study in this week’s issue of THE LANCET caution that the provision of zinc supplementation to pregnant women in developing countries could impair the early mental development of their children. Zinc deficiency is common in developing countries due to a diet that is low in animal protein and high in fibre. Supplements given to Bangladeshi pregnant women have previously been shown to improve infant growth and to reduce susceptibility to infectious diseases. In a follow-up study, Sally Grantham McGregor and Jena Habadani from the Institute for Child Health, London, UK, and colleagues from the International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, assessed these infants at 13 months of age to investigate the effect of antenatal zinc supplementation on infant development and behaviour.
The mental development of 168 infants (whose mothers received either 30 mg per day of zinc or placebo during pregnancy) were assessed. Infants in the placebo group had higher scores for both mental and psychomotor development. Zinc supplementation had no significant effect on behaviour or growth. The children’s nutritional status was poor—weight-for-age at testing was strongly related to development.
Sally Grantham McGregor comments: “Undernutrition is generally accepted to be detrimental to children’s development, our findings emphasise the serious nature of the problem in populations with high proportions of underweight children. Since zinc supplementation in infants has a beneficial effect on growth and morbidity, and supplementation of mothers was associated with reduced morbidity in low birthweight infants in this study, our findings complicate policy making…Undernourished pregnant women obviously require more than zinc alone. The next step would be to examine the effect of more comprehensive supplementations to improve maternal nutritional status during pregnancy on a broad range of outcomes including infants’ development.”
Full text of this paper (pdf 84.17kb)
Richard Lane | AlphaGalileo
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
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.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
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...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy