Mums to be have known for some time that what they eat when pregnant affects their unborn child but now scientists believe that the diet of our mothers during pregnancy may even affect our predisposition to illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure in late life.
Studies with animals have shown a link between diet and the life long health of offspring but experiments with pregnant women or unborn children is clearly not possible. Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have turned to embryonic human stem cells to provide the answers.
The scientists, led by Dr Lorraine Young at the University of Nottingham Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, are looking at the fundamental process of methylation. This is one of the ways that our bodies control which genes are working in which tissues and at what time by tagging some of our DNA with small chemical groups called methyl groups. The process is essential for controlling gene activity as an organism grows and develops into adulthood. Faults in this process are known to cause some rare developmental diseases but Dr Young’s group now believes that a foetus’ response to its mother’s diet could affect this process as well, leading to changes in gene activity and therefore susceptibility to illness in later life.
Matt Goode | alfa
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The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research
Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI
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Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.
In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...
Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.
It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:
The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...
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