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NIH Research Matters

April 2010 Archive

April 26, 2010

Photo of a pregnant woman on a scale holding her belly.

Mom's Obesity Raises Newborn's Heart Risk

The more obese a woman is when she becomes pregnant, the greater the likelihood that her newborn baby will have a congenital heart defect, a new study suggests. The finding raises concerns because 1 in 5 women are obese at the start of pregnancy in the United States.

Image of a human colon cancer cell.

Health Care Use May Account for Colorectal Cancer Disparities

Higher rates of colorectal cancer incidence and death among African-Americans may be driven less by biology and more by differences in health care use, according to a new study.

Photo of flexible, ribbon-like electrodes adhering to a plastic model of the brain.

Silk Helps Make Ultrathin Brain Interface

Scientists have developed a recording device that essentially melts into place, snugly fitting to the brain’s surface. The new technology allows for closer interaction between machines and living tissue, paving the way for more advanced implantable devices.

April 19, 2010

Photo of a pregnant woman holding vitamins in front of her belly.

Vitamins Fail to Help Blood Pressure Disorders of Pregnancy

Taking vitamin C and E supplements starting in early pregnancy does not reduce the risk for pregnancy-associated hypertension and its complications, according to a new study.

Photo of a newborn infant's foot held in a woman's hands.

"Heel-Stick Test Misses Viral Cause of Hearing Loss

The routine "heel-stick" blood test that screens for several disorders in newborns would fail to detect most cases of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, a leading cause of hearing loss in children. The new finding highlights the need for rapid, reliable and cost-effective screening methods that can identify the virus early in life.

Illustration of an eye with AMD deposits.

Cholesterol Genes Tied to Age-Related Macular Degeneration

A large genetic study has identified 3 new genes associated with the blinding eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Two of the genes are involved in the cholesterol pathway—a formerly unknown biological pathway for AMD disease development. The finding suggests new treatment and prevention approaches.

April 12, 2010

Photo of bacon and sausage

Drug Abuse and Obesity Share Brain Mechanism

Some brain mechanisms that contribute to drug addiction in humans also play a role in compulsive eating and the development of obesity in rats, according to a new study. If true in people, the finding may open doors to new approaches for reducing obesity.

Photo of a mouse in a T-maze.

Impaired Brain Connections Traced to Schizophrenia Mutation

The strongest known genetic cause of schizophrenia impairs communication between 2 brain regions and affects working memory, according to a study in mice.

Photo of a zebra finch.

Songbird Genome Yields Insight Into Vocal Communication

Researchers have identified more than 800 genes that appear to play a role in the male zebra finch's ability to learn elaborate songs from his father. A better understanding of the songbird's communication may lead to insights into human communication.

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About NIH Research Matters

Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Assistant Editors: Vicki Contie, Carol Torgan, Ph.D.

NIH Research Matters is a weekly update of NIH research highlights from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.

This page last reviewed on December 3, 2012

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