Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending February 19, 2023. 

COVID-19 Vaccines International Pregnancy Exposure Registry (C-VIPER)

More than 8,000 pregnant vaccinated women are already participating in our survey.

Help us understand the impact of COVID-19 vaccines on pregnancy and babies. Be a part of it!

Click here to Register

Selfish chromosomes

Chromosomal abnormalities often lead to nonviable embryos. A new theory contends that during egg formation, centromeres (a part of the chromosome) can “know” if they are going to get passed on through the egg or get thrown away. If they sense they’re about to be tossed, they try to join an egg they don’t belong in. If such an egg gets fertilized, the embryo is likely to die–but the centromere doesn’t care since it was going to get destroyed anyway. Read more here.

This is important for you because it seems like the logical conclusion to the idea of The Selfish Gene.

Birthing groups

New fossil work suggests that ichthyosaurs–ancient, giant, dolphin-like reptiles–apparently bred in large groups at designated breeding grounds, just like contemporary whales do. Read more here.

This is important for you because this behavior was shown to be at least 230 million years old!

Moms in proteomics

Jennifer Geddes-McAlister founded Moms in Proteomics in 2021 to help mothers who are new faculty in the sciences connect with each other and help each other get through the challenges specific to their field. Now, it helps all scientists struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Read more here.

This is important for you because “Mothers in science contend with unique challenges and demands on their time and energy. But funding agencies, administrators and even colleagues are often unaware or fail to recognize the impact of this hidden struggle.”.

Social media baby etiquette

This grandma-to-be excitedly posted on Facebook that her son and daughter-in-law were (finally) expecting–without their knowledge or consent. Big no-no. Read more here.

This is important for you because good rule of thumb: it’s not ok to post about someone else’s kid.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was PFAS and Period Underwear. Red 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.

Leave a Reply