Researchers Find New Insights Into Role of Little-Understood Placenta

placenta health illustration

More than 15 percent of women in developed countries suffer from pregnancy complications associated with the placenta, the disk-shaped organ that sustains a growing fetus. Now researchers find the placenta adapts when nutrients are scarce. The discovery identifies possible targets for intervention, the researchers say.

“Pregnancy complications are [often] linked to poor placental growth and function,” said Amanda Sferruzzi-Perri, a physiologist and developmental biologist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, who led the new research. “However, we lack information on what determines how well the placenta grows and functions to support fetal growth during a healthy pregnancy, let alone when the mother is challenged by a suboptimal environment.”

Pregnancy Problem

The placenta is a temporary organ that sprouts a baby’s umbilical cord. The organ then provides the oxygen and nutrients to the growing fetus. It also synthesizes hormones and other molecules necessary for pregnancy and pulls waste products from the baby’s blood. Beyond these fundamental functions, however, researchers know little about what makes for a healthy placenta. But if a placenta isn’t working properly, it can compromise the fetus’ development.

One in 10 infants are born small from growth restrictions in the womb. And those newborns face a higher risk for death in their first few weeks of life, followed by a lifetime of poor health. Hypoxia, an insufficient amount of oxygen getting to tissues, is the chief factor behind growth-restricted babies born at high-altitudes, but is also a common feature of pregnancy complications at sea level.

Sferruzzi-Perri and her team wanted to find out what factors contribute to a healthy placenta during a normal pregnancy, as well as what hinders the organ’s function during complications. The researchers assessed how well mitochondria, the cell’s energy factories, use oxygen and nutrients to produce energy in the placentas of pregnant mice in their third trimester. Some of the mice lived in conditions that mimic a high-altitude environment about 12,000 feet above sea level.

Mighty Mitochondria

In the final stage of labor, the placenta comes out. (Credit: ChameleonsEye/shutterstock

“We found that in the placenta, mitochondria alter their function during the course of pregnancy to best support the needs of the rapidly growing fetus,” Sferruzzi-Perri said.

The mitochondria used more oxygen in earlier stages of gestation than near term, the team reported online January 17thin the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The results suggest mitochondria are more active when the placenta is growing quickly. It then switches gears closer to term to shuttle oxygen and nutrients to the growing fetus.

The researchers also found that the mitochondria compensate for when mothers are not getting enough to eat or are in low-oxygen environments. “When the placenta is not able to compensate for such challenges then this can lead to complications such as fetal growth restriction,” Sferruzzi-Perri said.

“The next step would be to find ways to target mitochondria in the placenta to alter their function and improve pregnancy success in women where we know the outcome might be poor,” she added.

[“source=discovermagazine”]

Artist enjoys creativity of watercolor

Artist enjoys creativity of watercolor

I met Caleb Quire via local musician, Fleming Moore, several months ago out at one of the “Black Water on the Ashley” music nights in Summerville. Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Caleb has lived in South Carolina since he was a small child.

Regan: Where are you from and what brought you to Summerville?

Quire: According to my parents, I spent a couple of my early years in Jacksonville before we made the move to North Charleston and slowly, but surely, found our place in Summerville. Some of my best childhood memories are biking up to Guerin’s Pharmacy with my brothers in search for snacks — so I’ve known Summerville as a hometown since I was young.

R: Did you study art in college or are you mostly self-taught?

Q: Yes and no. I studied graphic design in college and use a lot of that knowledge and influence in all my artistic projects. However, I did not seek out any other art classes outside of school and basically bullied my way around with the help of books and determination until I got to where I am now.

R: You paint with watercolor; you draw (pencil & charcoal); you do graphic design (logos, block printing), photography and video. What is your favorite medium to work with and why? Favorite subject to draw?

Q: I have the most experience drawing with a pencil and with charcoal but I truly enjoy watercolor the most at this stage of my career. I like being able to play with colors in such a special way that other painting mediums cannot give you. I feel I am barely tapping into what I can do with watercolors and enjoy challenging myself to be better. My favorite subject to draw or paint would be the quirks of people. I am fortunate enough to paint a lot of pups and cats which keeps me smiling all day long but I do love the challenge that painting people offers.

R: Your new endeavor of housedrawnstudio.com is unique. Talk about that.

Q: I teamed up with a good friend of mine, Paul Smith, to provide a complete gift that holds great significance. Our House-Drawn Team hand-draws, inks, and colors, the homes of your childhood; or, it might even be your very first house. We mat, frame, wrap, and box the Masterpiece and ship it to you. Homes hold so much emotion and it is a great reminder of the good times when seeing that Masterpiece on your wall. You can go to HouseDrawnGifts.com to learn more.

For more information, go to CalebQuire.com.

Q: I’m just in the beginning stages of a new watercolor series that sprung on me out of nowhere and I’m really excited about all of the creative juices I’ve got swimming around in my brain with that one. I am also starting to play around with block printing and apparel which will be something we will all see more of come this spring and summer.

R: Any art showings, courses/workshops, festivals, or other art events planned?

Q: I do not have any guaranteed showings or events planned but you can expect tutorial videos and painting walk-throughs coming out soon. It has been a long time coming but who doesn’t need a Bob Ross-inspired watercolor painter? As most people know, Bob Ross is a famous oil painter who created easy going and happy painting episodes on “The Joy of Painting” (from 1983 to 1995) on PBS-TV — way before I started art as a kid.

[“source=journalscene”]

Most Fuel Efficient Bikes Of 2018

There were a plethora of new motorcycle launches in India this year. While we saw a bunch of new motorcycles launched in the performance bikes and the adventure bikes segment, there were just a handful of proper work-horse like fuel efficient motorcycles launched in India this year. These bikes are not the most fuel efficient models ever, but definitely the most fuel efficient bikes launched this year. Here is our list of top 3 fuel efficient motorcycles that were launched this year.

Bajaj Discover 110

2018 bajaj discover 110 review(2018 Bajaj Discover 110)

Bajaj launched the first ever ‘Discover’ model about 14 years ago and since then, there have been a bunch of ‘Discover’ models from Bajaj which ranged from 100 cc to 150 cc. It was this year that Bajaj launched the Discover 110 and Bajaj commuters are known for their fuel efficiency. The bike uses a new long-stroke engine with the power band optimised to offer more power at lower revs, and maximise fuel efficiency. The Discover 110 gets a 115 cc single-cylinder engine which makes 8.4 bhp and 9.8 Nm of peak torque. The bike returns claimed fuel efficiency of 76 kmpl, which is on par with the TVS Victor, Suzuki Hayate and the newly launched TVS Radeon. The Bajaj Discover 110 is also priced competitively at ₹ 52,326 (ex-showroom, Delhi), which makes it a good choice in the 110 cc segment.

Claimed fuel efficiency: 76.3 kmpl

Price: ₹ 52,326 (ex-showroom, Delhi)

TVS Radeon

8qel8j7g(TVS Radeon)

TVS Motor Company has four models in 100-110 cc segment which include the Sport, Start City Plus and the Victor and the latest launch from TVS is the Radeon, which again is a 110 cc commuter. The TVS Radeon is positioned between the Sport and the Star City Plus and TVS believes the Radeon will provide the push that the company needs in order to grab a larger slice of the pie. Priced at ₹ 48,990, the TVS Radeon is one of the most affordable bikes not only in the manufacturer’s stable but also in the 110 cc segment. The TVS Radeon is a quality product and is definitely worth consideration if you are looking to get a commuter motorcycle for yourself.

Claimed fuel efficiency: 69.3 kmpl

Price: ₹ 48,990 (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Bajaj Discover 125

9p8nb86o(2018 Bajaj Discover 125)

The 2018 Bajaj Discover 125 was launched alongside the Bajaj Discover 110 and in terms of design, both motorcycles are identical but this one gets more features in terms of LED daytime running lamps and different graphics. The Discover 125 gets an updated 124 cc engine that churns out 11 bhp and 11 Nm of peak torque. The long stroke engine architecture offers good torque for city riding. The Discover 125 gets the same suspension as on the Discover 110 and gets a front disc and a rear drum brake. The Discover 125 drum brake option is priced at ₹ 57,165 and the disc brake option is priced at ₹ 59,488.

[“source=ndtv”]

Near-total hartal throws life out of gear

 

KSRTC buses remained at the Central Depot at Thampanoor on Tuesday owing to the BJP hartal | B P Deepu

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by BJP district committee in protest against the alleged police high handedness on some activists in a Secretariat march disrupted the normal life in the capital. However, the hartal was peaceful and near total except some minor skirmishes at Neyyattinkara in the outskirts of the city.  The strike affected the functioning of government offices.

Schools and colleges remained closed while the Secretariat functioned with a thin attendance. Banks and commercial establishments remained closed too. The BJP had conducted a march towards the Secretariat on Tuesday in protest against the police action. A woman activist was injured after she was hit by a tear gas shell during the march.

The 23rd IFFK was conducted as usual, but the inflow of delegates was less compared to other days. The transportation of delegates was a problem as they had to walk towards the venues. The Kerala State Chalachitra Academy had also arranged food for delegates in association with State Prisons Department.
According to the police, no major acts of violence were reported as the KSRTC buses and private buses decided to keep off the road. However, train services were not disrupted.

Normal life hit
Schools and colleges remained closed while the Secretariat functioned with a thin attendance. The inflow of delegates was less compared to other days at the IFFK. According to the police, no major acts of violence were reported

[“source=forbes]