Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending June 30, 2019. 

More benefits of breast milk

Milk not only nourishes infants, it stands in for their developing immune systems. An antibody found in breast milk was just found to protect preemies from necrotizing enterocolitis by helping to limit the number of free Enterobacteriaceae bacteria in the preemies’ gut. Read more here.

This is important for you because if you can, breastfeeding provides amazing health benefits (and bonding time) for you and your baby.

Where did I come from?

When this baby hits three and asks you this sticky question, you can dodge the uncomfortable sex talk by explaining this new theory on the origin of life on Earth: it’s simple thermodynamics. When a group of atoms hang out together long enough, and have a ready energy source (like the sun), life will inevitably arise. Read more here. Read more here.

This is important for you because – well it probably isn’t, but this purely physical explanation for the origin of life is certainly thought-provoking.

Embryonic editing

He Jiankui introduced a mutation into the DNA of normal embryos. Shoukhrat Mitalipov wants to fix mutations already in the DNA of embryos, to restore them to normalcy. Is this gene repair any different from gene editing? Congress doesn’t think so. Read more here.

This is important for you because is this in fact different? What do YOU think?

Parenting in the field

Going back to work after having a baby is always challenging, but can be especially challenging when “back to work” means an archeological dig or the jungle. But as with most challenging things, the people who do it say that the benefits far outweigh the difficulties. Read more here.

This is important for you because when your kid is up all night screaming – at least he isn’t disturbing the rest of the research team in the tent you’re all sharing in the Arctic. 

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Allergies and Pregnancy: Nothing to Sneeze At. Read it here.

Diana Gitig
Dr. Diana Gitig has a Ph.D. in cell biology and genetics from Cornell University, and has been writing about issues in biology – from molecular biology to cancer to immunology to neuroscience to nutrition to agriculture - for the past fifteen years. She has three teenaged children.

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