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NIH Research Matters

May 2008 Archive

May 19, 2008

Photo of a pregnant woman being examined by a female doctor.

Elevated Blood Sugar Levels Boost Pregnancy Risks

Pregnant women whose blood sugar levels are elevated—but not high enough to be considered diabetes—face an increased risk for Cesarean delivery, high-birthweight newborns and other problems normally seen in women with gestational diabetes.

Photo of a city shrouded in air pollution.

Air Pollution May Heighten Risk for Deep-Vein Blood Clots

Long-term exposure to air pollution may increase the risk for developing blood clots in veins deep within the legs, a condition known as deep vein thrombosis. Although air pollution has previously been linked to heart disease and stroke, this is the first study to find a connection to the sometimes-dangerous blood clots that can form in the veins.

Photo of two zebra finches.

How Songbirds Learn Their Songs

Like human babies, juvenile zebra finches have their own way of babbling called subsong. A new study has found that subsong is driven by different brain circuits than those that control an adult birdís song. The studyís insights into how birds explore sounds to learn songs may shed light on how humans learn new things as we develop.

May 12, 2008

Photo of older women exercising.

Physical Activity and Weight Affect Coronary Heart Disease Risk

Researchers have long known that both physical activity and excess weight affect the risk of coronary heart disease. However, it's been hard to tease apart how much each contributes. A new study found that being physically active can considerably, but not completely, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease associated with being overweight or obese.

Photo of a platypus.

Duck-Billed Platypus Genome Sequence Published

The first analysis of the genome sequence of the duck-billed platypus, whose ancestors split from the rest of mammalian lineage some 166 million years ago, revealed clues about how genomes were organized during the early evolution of mammals.

Photo of calipers measuring fat.

Fat Cell Numbers in Teen Years Linger for a Lifetime

Researchers have found that the number of fat cells in your body is set during adolescence and remains constant through adulthood, regardless of whether you gain or lose weight. The findings may help to explain why it can be so hard for some people to drop pounds and keep them off.

May 5, 2008

Image of brightly colored chromosomal pairs.

Map of Structural Variation in the Human Genome

Researchers have produced the first sequence-based map of human genome “structural” variations—those spanning long stretches of the genetic code. The map will help researchers understand how these variations contribute to human health and disease.

Photo of micro test tubes.

Finding Signs in Metabolites

An international study has found that urine can offer an in-depth snapshot of whatís going on inside a personís body. The results revealed differences between populations and uncovered relationships between several urine components and blood pressure.

Computer rendering of a flu virus.

Quick New Method Makes Human Antibodies that Flight Flu Virus

Researchers have devised a fast new technique for producing human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that can roam the bloodstream to target and destroy infectious microbes. The method could be used in the future to quickly create effective treatments and diagnostics for influenza and other fast-spreading diseases.

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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.

ISSN 2375-9593

This page last reviewed on December 4, 2012

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