Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fetal fat and "red spots" in newborn babies a defense against bacterial attacks

03.03.2003


It is common that babies are born with fetal fat and develop red spots on their skin. Pediatricians have always explained this as a passing and normal skin reaction in newborn children. Now Giovanna Marchini at the Karolinska Hospital, Sweden, together with her research team, has discovered that this is a sign of a powerful immune defense system.



Fully 2000 years ago in Mesopotamia, an area roughly corresponding to today’s Iraq, doctors described spots on the skin of newborn babies as benign and passing. But not until now have doctors been able to explain what these spots result from.

It is now known that the spots are in all probability a sign of an immunological defense that develops as early as the fetal stage and is activated at delivery. This inborn defense consists of white blood corpuscles and functions at lightning speed, in the course of a few minutes. Even as a fetus the baby prepares itself to encounter the immediate and massive exposure to alien microbes that is part of its adjustment to life outside the womb.


Giovanna Marchini’s research team collaborates with scientists at the Karolinska Institute and the University of Aarhus, Denmark. They have found antibiotic-like substances in fetal fat, the white layer of fat that covers the skin of newborns. These body’s own antibiotic-like substances are also found in the skin and indicate an inborn capacity in newborns to ward off infections.

“Our studies show what enormous capacity newborn babies have to protect themselves from bacterial attacks. The reaction is so powerful that we can see it with the naked eye. The red spots are an immunological response that is activated when microbes come into direct contact with the cells of the skin. This reinforces the ability of the skin to resist attacks from bacteria. The inborn immune system also helps to maintain a microbial balance between the baby and the naturally occurring microbes on the skin and mucous linings,” says Giovanna Marchini.

Sabina Bossi | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ks.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

nachricht Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain
20.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>