Children in Europe and other parts of the world are entering puberty at an ever younger age. The reasons for this are unknown, and the EU is now financing a major three-year project called PIONEER in a determined effort to get to the root of the problem. Two Swedish research groups are involved in the project, both from Karolinska Institutet.
The onset of puberty is determined by a string of factors, such as environment, physiology and heredity, but just how they interact remains a mystery. It is also unclear why puberty is starting at ever-younger ages, but scientists think that it can be the result of a combination of environmental factors. PIONEER comprises twelve research groups, all of which will be tackling the puzzle from different angles. Most of the groups are working on the theory that a greater intake of calories has a significant part to play, while others will also be looking at hormone-like substances in the environment. Researchers at KI’s Department of Woman and Child Health, however, will for the most part be studying whether the production of male and female sexual hormones is greater in overfed animals than in undernourished ones.
“It’s important to find out the cause of this problem as the early onset of puberty affects a large number of children and can eventually give rise to new reproductive patterns,” says Professor Olle Söder, vice coordinator of PIONEER at KI. “It’s also been shown that girls who reach puberty early are affected in a way that can have consequences for their future, both socially and financially. It’s also conceivable that early puberty is the outcome of external factors in the environment. It’s therefore important to identify these factors so that we can take whatever action is necessary.”
Sabina Bossi | alfa
New population data provide insight on aging, migration
31.08.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
PRB projects world population rising 33 percent by 2050 to nearly 10 billion
25.08.2016 | Population Reference Bureau
Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.
So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
28.10.2016 | Life Sciences