Tue, Apr 25, 2017 | updated 07:57 PM IST

Predicting lung disease in infants

Updated: Aug 06, 2016 15:27 IST      
Predicting lung disease in infants

Washington D.C, Aug 6 (ANI): Once thought to be sterile until after birth, the airway of an infant is actually colonized with bacteria or bacterial DNA when he is born, suggests a recent study.

The University of Alabama researchers and colleagues have found that this is true for infants born as early as 24 weeks gestation.

How microbes get into the airways and the purpose of this pre-birth colonization are still unclear, but the pattern of colonization appears to have an important link to later severe neonatal lung disease.

An early microbial imbalance, or dysbiosis, is predictive for the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, or BPD, a chronic lung disease of prematurity. The extremely low birth-weight, or ELBW, infants in this study had an average birth weight of 1 pound, 8 ounces.

Researchers found that the ELBW infants who went on to develop life-threatening BPD showed abnormal microbial colonization patterns at birth, as compared to pre-term infants who did not get BPD.

"Right at birth, your respiratory microbiome can possibly predict your risk for BPD," said lead investigator Charitharth Vivek Lal.

The study also suggests that the 'healthy' pattern of colonization seen in the BPD-resistant ELBW infants, with increased abundance of Lactobacillus, is protective.

"We speculate that the early airway microbiome may prime the developing pulmonary immune system, and dysbiosis in its development may set the stage for subsequent lung disease," the researchers said. "Should a disordered airway microbiome prove to be involved in the pathogenesis of disease, it will be of immediate interest to attempt to develop novel therapeutic interventions."

As for the source of the microbes, Lal and colleagues wrote, "As it is commonly believed that colonization of neonates originates in the birth canal, we were surprised to find that the airway microbiome of vaginally delivered and caesarean section-delivered neonates were similar, which suggests that the microbial DNA in the airways is probably transplacentally derived, consistent with reports that the placenta has a rich microbiome."

The researchers speculate that this transmission of bacteria or bacterial DNA to the in-utero infant could be via blood or amniotic fluid.

The study appears in the journal Scientific Reports. (ANI)

Researchers relate extreme weather to global warming

Updated: Apr 25, 2017 11:19 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 25 (ANI): In the past, scientists typically avoided linking individual weather events to climate change, citing the challenges of teasing apart human influence from the natural variability of the weather. But that is changing.

Full Story >>

Ahmedabad surgeon performs India's 1st robotic surgery

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 18:43 IST     

Ahmedabad (Guajarat) [India], Apr 24 (ANI): A unique robotic surgical procedure, said to be the first of its kind performed in India and third in the world, was recently performed by a doctor at Sterling Hospitals on a 37-year old patient to relieve him of acute pain caused by a rare condition of Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome.

Full Story >>

This 3-D skin printer can heal severe burns faster

Updated: Apr 23, 2017 07:11 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 23 (ANI): A newly-developed method for using a modified printer that covers wounds with healthy skin cells can make the traditional burn treatment a history.

Full Story >>

Turns out, you can 'point out' a man's education

Updated: Apr 21, 2017 14:51 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 21 (ANI): Knowing a man's education is as simple as looking at his fingers, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Just when you thought brain games made you smarter

Updated: Apr 21, 2017 14:39 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 21 (ANI): You may want to be skeptical of ads declaring you can rev up your brain's performance by challenging it with products from the growing brain-training industry, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Accomplished female scientists often overlooked

Updated: Apr 21, 2017 14:17 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 21 (ANI): Turns out, gender gap still exists in the STEM fields-science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Full Story >>

Port Blair [India], April 21 (ANI): In a first of its kind study, peptides, from the venom of cone snails, have been identified that opens up possibilities of drug research for several human ailments.

Full Story >>

Antarctica's biodiversity 'falling between the cracks'

Updated: Apr 20, 2017 22:49 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 20 (ANI): The popular view that Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are in a much better environmental shape than the rest of the world has been debunked.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], April 18 (ANI): Keep your worries at bay as Azithromycin group of medicine is no more linked to an increased risk of irregular heartbeat, says a study.

Full Story >>

Even with head-up display, texting while driving not safe

Updated: Apr 16, 2017 12:38 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 16 (ANI): Despite relatively less distraction from the head-up displays, a recent study has suggested that texting while driving is still a bad idea.

Full Story >>

Now, sketch your way to better learning

Updated: Apr 16, 2017 11:31 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 16 (ANI): Sketching exercises can help students learn many subjects, but they are woefully underused in classrooms, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Randomness peaks when you're 25

Updated: Apr 16, 2017 10:18 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 16 (ANI): 25 is the "golden age," when people's ability to make random choices or mimic a random process, such as coming up with hypothetical results for a series of coin flips, peaks, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Why having a 'nice' boss may be 'bad' for you

Updated: Apr 16, 2017 10:02 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 16 (ANI): Those feeling stressed at work may want to rethink before blaming their bosses as it turns out, an unsupportive manager can actually be good for you.

Full Story >>

Are you all ears? Your eyes indicate if you are

Updated: Apr 16, 2017 09:06 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 16 (ANI): Turns out, the eyes really are a window to the soul as a recent study has found that your pupils give away whether or not you are listening.

Full Story >>

Our ancestors defeated virus from HIV family 11m years ago

Updated: Apr 15, 2017 12:46 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 15 (ANI): Viral fossils have revealed how our ancestors may have wiped out a primordial virus around 11 million years ago.

Full Story >>

Understanding money can keep those old-age worries at bay

Updated: Apr 14, 2017 20:34 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 14 (ANI): Those possessing a greater understanding of finance are less likely to fret about life in their twilight years, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

A stranger's eye can help you pick best profile picture

Updated: Apr 14, 2017 18:14 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 14 (ANI): When it comes to your profile picture, you may want to let a stranger do the choosing as a recent study has suggested so.

Full Story >>

Now, a method for 3D printing extraterrestrial materials

Updated: Apr 13, 2017 14:16 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 13 (ANI): When humans begin to colonize the moon and Mars, they will need to be able to make everything from small tools to large buildings using the limited surrounding resources.

Full Story >>

Turns out, college students study best later in the day

Updated: Apr 13, 2017 07:55 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 13 (ANI): Students learn more effectively between 11 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. than at other times of the day, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], April 13 (ANI): In a major revelation, scientists have unearthed fossilised remains of more than 245-million-years old giant dinosaurs in southern Tanzania indicating that rather than walking on two legs, they walked on four crocodilian-like legs.

Full Story >>