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Friday, 8 April 2016

Maternal obesity and diabetes may lead to overgrowth of baby

A new research of University of Cambridge brings out that the babies of obese women and those who develop gestational diabetes are five times likely to be excessively large by six months of pregnancy. The research is published recently in the journal Diabetes Care. Gestational diabetes is known to affect women during pregnancy and those associated with obesity are at higher risk. The condition causes the unborn child to be larger, putting the mother at risk during childbirth and likely the offspring may be obese or carry diabetes later life. Solution? These conditions can be controlled by a combination of balanced diet, thorough exercise and meditation.

Researchers at Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology under University of Cambridge analyzed the data of pregnant women from Pregnancy Outcome Prediction Study, following ultrasound scans of first time mothers to assess the growth of babies inside womb. The compared the measurements of abdominal and head circumference of the foetuses between women who developed gestational diabetes and those who did not.

In a study considering 4069 women, 4.2% were diagnosed with gestational diabetes at or beyond 28weeks. The foetuses of these women grew excessively prior to diagnosis and that happened between 20 and 28 weeks. Hence the babies are already large at the time of diagnosis. Similarly researchers tried to study women with obese, as it is a well known factor for child obesity. Even in the absence of diabetes, the foetus of obese women was twice big than it should be in 28weeks.

The author suggests that the evidence proves an urgent requirement to assess the effect of earlier screening, for the outcome of pregnancy and also benefit of health of offspring. The research was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Cambridge Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre and SANDS (the stillbirth and neonatal death charity).

Further Study: University of Cambridge

Journal Source: Sovio, U et al. Accelerated fetal growth prior to diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus: a prospective cohort study of nulliparous women. Diabetes Care; 8 April 2016; DOI 10.2337/dc16-0160

Thursday, 7 April 2016

How deep does life persist? New discovery of microbial life beneath sea floor

We all might know that the evolution of bacteria or life started from ocean floors with deep residing phototropic bacteria evolving oxygen for life and provided us oxygenated atmosphere. Does there are still some old or new evolving bacteria much beneath the ocean floor? The only way to reach there is to drill by meters of sediment until you hit hard rock. A new study published in the journal Scientific Reports proves that there are active microbial community still present in cold oceanic crust of North Pond on the western flank of Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

The oceanic crust at North Pond is relatively young (8 million years old) and its circulating fluids are cold (<20 degrees C). By comparison, the temperature of crustal fluids can reach 400 degrees C at hydrothermal vents in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where tectonic plates are diverging and new oceanic crust is being formed. (Source: MBL)
The team of researchers led by Marine Biological Laboratory Associate Scientist Julie Huber provided evidences to understand life in new way deep down under. Oceanic crust is static, where seawater runs through the crevices of the rocks creating a dynamic aquifier to support this microbial community persistence. From the samples collected, Huber team found that they are oxygenated, heterogeneous and markedly distinct. Several species is residing at the same group, i.e. there are distinct differences in potential microbial activity between two sites of collection.

Team for the first time propose the microbial life presence in cold crustal aquifer site. Previous work describes about hot volcanic fluids in mid and subsea floor microbial persistence. Huber describes that the cold crustal aquifer is different environment and holds importance not only about sustaining microbial life but also biogeochemical cycling.

Journal Source: Julie L. Meyer, Ulrike Jaekel, Benjamin J. Tully, Brian T. Glazer, C. Geoffrey Wheat, Huei-Ting Lin, Chih-Chiang Hsieh, James P. Cowen, Samuel M. Hulme, Peter R. Girguis, Julie A. Huber. A distinct and active bacterial community in cold oxygenated fluids circulating beneath the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic ridge. Scientific Reports, 2016; 6: 22541 DOI: 10.1038/srep22541

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