News, announcements, and research (including studies funded by NICHD)
- August 21, 2014: Primary Care Physicians Can be Critical Resource for Abused Women in Rural Areas
Penn State News
Many primary care physicians in rural communities do not routinely screen women for domestic abuse, and rural women exposed to such violence have limited resources if they seek help, according to a Penn State study, funded in part by NICHD.
- August 20, 2014: Language Skills Can Shape Children’s Impulse Control, Research Says
Education Week Blog
Research from Indiana University, funded by NICHD, finds that some children with poor language skills not only have trouble communicating with others, but also can also lack the "running internal monologue" that helps them control their behavior.
- August 19, 2014: Exercise Makes Kids’ Brains More Efficient
Time Magazine Online
For the first time, there’s evidence that being fit can improve the speed of neurons in children’s brains and strengthen the connections between them, according to a study funded by NICHD.
- August 19, 2014: How Parents Juggle Work Hours May Influence Kids’ Weight
Penn State News
The way parents balance their work schedules may affect their adolescent children's eating habits, according to Penn State researchers, funded in part by NICHD.
- August 18, 2014: Kids Brain Reorganize Learning Math Skills
Scientists studied brain images of kids as they learned math skills to understand what happens when the kids no longer need to count on their fingers and can call up the answer from memory. NICHD researchers share explanations about the findings.
- August 15, 2014: Preterm Labor: One Syndrome, Many Causes
Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal death. NICHD researchers reviewed the scientific evidence and concluded that preterm birth likely is not one single syndrome, but a host of conditions, caused by many different factors.
- August 14, 2014: Health Institutions Tackle High Rate of Preterm Birth
An estimated 15 million babies are born preterm every year and more than one million die within the first 30 days after birth. A global coalition—founded by the NICHD, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth, and the March of Dimes—announced projects intended to tackle this high rate of preterm birth and help prevent the health risks associated with it.
- August 14, 2014: Inside the Cell, an Ocean of Buffeting Waves
Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
A new biophysical study by Harvard University researchers together with NICHD researchers, uncovered novel forces in the cytoplasm of the cell.
- August 12, 2014: Teen Drug Use Gets Supersize Study
The National Institute on Drug Abuse is launching an ambitious longitudinal brain-imaging study, tracking 10,000 U.S. adolescents for ten years to determine whether marijuana, alcohol, and nicotine are associated with brain function and behavior. NICHD is helping to fund the study.
- August 11, 2014: Preemies' Gut Bacteria May Depend More on Gestational Age Than Environment
Washington University in St. Louis Newsroom
Researchers, funded in part by NICHD, found that bacteria in babies' gastrointestinal tracts may depend more on their biological makeup and gestational age at birth than on environmental factors.
- August 11, 2014: The Human Placenta Project
Chemical & Engineering News
Doctors aim to treat pregnancy complications by better understanding this mysterious organ. NICHD launches placenta research to improve outcomes for mother and baby.
- Aug. 7, 2014: High Fruit and Veggie Diet Linked to Lower Risk of Heart Disease, Death
Reuters, United Kingdom
NICHD-funded researchers have more evidence linking a diet with five servings a day of fruits and vegetables to lower risk of heart disease and death. This study found that the benefits of fruits and vegetables leveled off at five servings.
- Aug. 6, 2014: Conflict Between Parents Can Weaken Bond with Their Children, Study Finds
Headlines & Global News
Marital conflicts don't just affect parents but also weaken their bond with their children, according to a new NICHD-funded study.
- Aug. 5, 2014: Year-Long Preventative Care Lowers Children's Risk of Malaria
Counsel & Heal
Even though malaria is considered eradicated in many regions of the world, the disease is still at large in rural areas of developing nations. In a new NICHD-funded study, researchers examined the effects of prolonged treatment in preventing malaria.
- Aug. 5, 2014: Scientists Use Subcellular Imaging to Visualize Glutamate Receptors
Drug Discovery & Development Magazine
NIH scientists have created high-resolution images of the glutamate receptor, a protein that plays a key role in nerve signaling. The advance, published online in the journal Nature, opens a new window to study protein interactions in cell membranes in exquisite detail.
- Aug. 5, 2014: Researchers Believe the Placenta's Importance Goes Well Beyond Birth
The importance of the placenta gains attention by researchers. NICHD launches the Human Placenta Project with the ultimate goal of finding ways to detect abnormalities in the organ early, treat or prevent them.
- July 30, 2014: Birth Weight and Breastfeeding have Implications for Children's Health Decades Later
Washington University in St. Louis Newsroom
Young adults who were breastfed for three months or more as babies have a significantly lower risk of chronic inflammation associated with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, according to research funded in part by NICHD.
- July 24, 2014: Early Reading Linked to Later Intelligence
The University of Edinburgh
Tests of identical twins suggest that if children have better-than-average reading skills at age 7, this may positively affect their intellectual abilities in late adolescence, a study funded by NICHD shows.
- July 22, 2014: Room for Improvement in Elementary School Children's Lunches Packed at Home
Open a child's lunch box and you're likely to find that the lunches and snacks inside fall short of federal guidelines. Those are the findings of a study by researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, funded in part by NICHD.
- July 21, 2014: Youth Programs Get More Funding
The White House highlighted research on youth violence by the University of Chicago, funded in part by NICHD, and pledged more funding for mentoring programs to help at-risk boys.
- July 21, 2014: Parents Miss Signs Obese Children At Risk for Serious Health Problems
Times of San Diego
A majority of parents surveyed failed to recognize the health risks for their obese children, or to encourage their children to take action for healthy weight, according to a new study by the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, funded partly by NICHD.
- July 21, 2014: Mothers of Children with Autism Benefit from Peer-Led Intervention
Vanderbilt University News
Peer-led interventions that target parental well-being can significantly reduce stress, depression and anxiety in mothers of children with disabilities, according to new findings, funded in part by NICHD, published in the journal Pediatrics.
- July 21, 2014: Try Try Again? Study Says No
Massachusetts Institute of Technology News
Neuroscientists funded in part by the NICHD find that trying harder makes it more difficult to learn some aspects of language.
- July 18, 2014: University of Cincinnati Studies Epileptic Moms-to-be
Cincinnati Inquirer: What are the risks to children of epileptic moms and moms-to-be? That is the goal of a decade-long national study at 20 medical centers, including the University of Cincinnati, funded by NICHD and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
- July 17, 2014: Measuring Nurture: Study Shows How "Good Mothering" Hardwires Infant Brain
New York University Langone Medical Center News
By carefully watching nearly 100 hours of video showing mother rats protecting, warming, and feeding their young pups, and then matching up what they saw to real-time electrical readings from the pups' brains, researchers at New York University Langone Medical Center, funded by NICHD, found that the mother's presence and social interactions—her nurturing role—directly molds the early neural activity and growth of her offspring's' brain.
- July 16, 2014: 14-Year Study Finds No Evidence that Grade Retention Affects Student Achievement
Texas A&M University
In 2000, Dr. Jan Hughes, professor in the department of educational psychology, recruited 784 first-grade students for an in-depth look at the complex issue of grade retention. She has followed them, through a grant from the NICHD, over the past 14 years.
- July 16, 2014: Summer Institute in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Population Health
The Rainbow Times
An intensive, 4-week training program in Boston, funded in part by the NICHD, for doctoral and post-doctoral trainees offers best practices to research the health of sexual and gender minority populations.
- July 15, 2014: Infants With a Clear Hand Preference Show Advanced Language Ability as Toddlers
Florida International University News
Infants who exhibit a consistent right-hand preference are more likely to develop advanced language skills by age 2, according to a study funded by NICHD and published in the journal, Developmental Psychology.
- July 15, 2014: Poor Early Language Skills Linked to Later Behavior and Attention Problems
Indiana University Bloomington Newsroom
A new Indiana University study, funded by NICHD, has tracked the links between early language skills and subsequent behavior problems in young children.
- July 14, 2014: Kids Today: More Educated, Bigger, and Deeper in Debt
WPTV – NBC
The fun way to take the pulse of young people is to notice their weird fashion fads, listen to their music, watch their TV shows and read their books. Oh wait. They don't read books. Hefty report on young adults reveals few trends, but plenty of statistics.
- July 10, 2014: Girl "Cured" of HIV at Birth Now Has Virus, Doctors Say
A girl believed to be "cured" of HIV at birth now has detectable levels of the virus, health officials said today. The NICHD and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases pledge funding to study the girl's case.
- July 9, 2014: ADHD Drugs Lacking in Safety Studies, Boston Researchers Find
Boston Children's Hospital researchers, in a study funded by NICHD, found that drugs used to treat symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder have not been investigated in drug clinical trials to determine whether they're safe to take long term.
- July 9, 2014: Study Shows Letrozole's Efficacy in Boosting Pregnancy Chances
Wall Street Journal: Women with polycystic ovary syndrome who are struggling with infertility have a better chance at getting pregnant with a medication different than the one typically used in clinics today, new research suggests.
- July 8, 2014: Chief Research Officer at Children's National, Awarded NIH Grant in Genetic Disease Outcomes Study
Children's National Health System: Mendel Tuckman, MD, Chief Research Officer, Children's Research Institute at Children's National Health System, leads a team that was awarded a $650,000 NICHD grant to determine whether an amino acid-like chemical can be used to improve the clinical outcome of genetic diseases characterized by elevated levels of ammonia in the blood, such as hyperammonemia.
- July 7, 2014: Cornell Obtains $3M Grant to Study Tobacco Warnings
Cornell Chronicle: Five Cornell faculty members received a 5-year, $3 million grant from NICHD and the Food and Drug Administration to examine how anti-smoking messages can be effective among youth, low-income and low-education groups.
- July 3, 2014: Schizophrenia-Assisted Gene Variation Affects Brain Cell Development
Johns Hopkins Medicine: Johns Hopkins researchers have begun to connect the dots between a schizophrenia-linked genetic variation and its effect on the developing brain.
- July 2, 2014: Do Probiotics Help Kids with Stomach Bugs?
Washington University in St. Louis: Consumers worldwide spend billions of dollars each year on probiotic foods and supplements. But studies evaluating probiotics—microorganisms believed to aid digestive health—have been limited. NICHD-supported researchers aim to learn more about these microorganisms.
- July 2, 2014: Gene Type Confers 26 Percent Chance of Early Celiac Sign by Age 5
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: An NIH-funded study in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that more than one quarter of children with two copies of a high-risk variant in a specific group of genes develop an early sign of celiac disease called celiac disease autoimmunity (CDA) by age 5.
- July 2, 2014: University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Le Bonheur Form Pediatric Obesity Center
Memphis Daily News: Former NICHD researcher Dr. Joan C. Han will be the founding director of the new University of Tennessee Le Bonheur Pediatric Obesity Center and will direct the new Le Bonheur Healthy Lifestyle Clinic.
- June 30, 2014: Study Links Major Depression to Higher Risk of Death Among Older U.S. Adults
The University of Kansas: U.S. adults 50 and older who suffer from major depression face a 43 percent increase in the risk of death, especially cardiovascular disease or cancer, according to a study involving a University of Kansas researcher published recently in the Journals of Gerontology:
- June 30, 2014: At What Age Should a Child Learn to Swim?
Washington Post: Playing in the water is a great way to beat the heat. And yet every year, kids drown.
- June 30, 2014: Lighting Research Center's Mariana Figueiro to Speak at TEDMED 2014
Sleep Review: Mariana Figueiro, Lighting Research Center Light and Health program director and professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, will speak at TEDMED, September 12, 2014 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. During the talk, she will share facts about her NICHD-funded research on the effect of light—its presence, its absence, and its patterns—on human health and wellbeing.
- June 29, 2014: Mother's Place of Birth is a Risk Factor for Autism in U.S.-Born Children
Imperial Valley News: Can the place where a woman is born and raised be a risk factor for autism in her child? According to new research out of UCLA and funded in part by NICHD, the answer is yes.
June 24, 2014: Parents of children with autism often have autistic traits
Washington University in St. Louis Newsroom
Studying children with autism and their parents, researchers have found that when a child has autism, his or her parents are more likely to have autistic traits than parents who don't have a child with an autism spectrum disorder, as measured by a survey used to identify such characteristics.
June 24, 2014: UCLA study: Mother's place of birth is a risk factor for autism in U.S.-born children
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Newsroom
Can the place where a woman is born and raised be a risk factor for autism in her child? According to new NICHD-funded research out of UCLA, the answer is yes.
- June 19, 2014: New Research Does Not Find a Direct Link between Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy and Heart Malformations in Infants
Brigham and Women's Hospital News
New research from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health finds no substantial increase in the risk of heart malformations attributable to the most commonly prescribed antidepressants in pregnancy.
- June 18, 2014: NIH Launches 3D Print Exchange for Researchers, Students
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Public website promotes health and science applications of 3D printing.
- June 18, 2014: Kids Whose Time is Less Structured are Better Able to Meet Their Own Goals, Says CU-Boulder Study
University of Colorado Boulder
Children who spend more time in less structured activities—from playing outside to reading books to visiting the zoo—are better able to set their own goals and take actions to meet those goals without prodding from adults, according to a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder.
- June 18, 2014: LSU Health Shreveport Faculty Members Secure Research Grants
KTAL – NBC Affiliate
Three Louisiana State University Health Shreveport faculty members recently received new grants totaling nearly $850,000 from the National Institutes of Health.
- June 16, 2014: Surgery Associated with Increased Risk of Death or Impairment in Very-Low-Birth-Weight Infants
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Very-low-birth-weight babies who undergo major surgery appear to have an increased risk of death or subsequent neurodevelopmental impairment, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics.
- June 12, 2014: When Good People Do Bad Things
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Being in a group makes some people lose touch with their personal moral beliefs, researchers find.
- June 12, 2014: The Important Role of Dad
A recent study by the NICHD indicates that dads are more engaged in caretaking than ever before.
- June 12, 2014: Trying to Act "Cool" in School May Lead to a Wide Range of Problems in Adulthood
Headlines & Global News
Being the cool kid on the block is every child's dream. Television and the media have also played their part in popularizing the notion of the "coolest kid in school." However, trying to be popular in school by acting older than your age can have many negative consequences later, a new study finds.
- June 11, 2014: Depression and PTSD Together Dramatically Increase Risk of Premature Birth
Yale University News
Pregnant women who suffer from both post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression are four times more likely to deliver prematurely than women without those conditions, a new Yale University School of Medicine study shows.
- June 11, 2014: New Study Examines the Role of Father's Environmental Exposure in Reproductive Success
University of Massachusetts Amherst
A new 3-year, $440,000 study led by environmental health scientist Richard Pilsner at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is now underway to investigate whether phthalate levels in expectant fathers have an effect on the couples' reproductive success, via epigenetic modifications of sperm DNA.
- June 11, 2014: Peer Pressure is Weaker for Kids to Quit Smoking
Penn State News
Adolescents tend to be more powerful in influencing their friends to start smoking than in helping them to quit, according to sociologists.
- June 11, 2014: Experimental Baby Formula Doesn't Prevent Development of Antibodies Associated with Type I Diabetes in Early Childhood
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Early findings from the first large international trial to try to prevent type I diabetes show that infants at risk for the disease who were fed a special baby formula that lacks complex cow milk proteins still made antibodies against the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas by the time the youngest children studied were six years old. Previous studies suggested the experimental formula might prevent the development of the auto-antibodies, which represent inflammatory changes in the organ.
- June 11, 2014: Study Reveals Three Key Risk Factors Associated with Child Obesity
The Rock River Times
A University of Illinois study has identified the following as the three most significant risk factors for child obesity among preschoolers.
- June 5, 2014: The Connection Between Oxygen and Diabetes
University of California San Diego
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have, for the first time, described the sequence of early cellular responses to a high-fat diet, one that can result in obesity-induced insulin resistance and diabetes.
- June 4, 2 2014: Research to Examine Effects of Residential Environment on Preterm Delivery in African American Women
Wayne State University
High levels of racial disparities in preterm delivery exist, with African Americans having higher rates than non-Hispanic whites. Since traditional risk factors do not fully account for this disparity, other explanations are needed and researchers at Wayne State University are teaming up to find answers.
- June 3, 2014: The Beautiful Brain Cells You Don't Know About
National Science Foundation
The number of nerve cells in the human brain sounds impressive: 100 billion. And it is.
But neurons may make up as little as 15% of cells in the brain. The other cells are called glial cells or glia.
- June 3, 2014: Brain Signals Link Physical Fitness to Better Language Skills in Children
University of Illinois News Bureau
Children who are physically fit have faster and more robust neuro-electrical brain responses during reading than their less-fit peers, researchers report.
- June 2, 2014: NIH Gears Up for a Closer Look at the Human Placenta
A placenta sustained you and every person ever born for 9 months, serving as your lungs and kidneys and pumping out hormones while you developed in the womb. Problems with this disk-shaped mass of tissue can contribute to everything from preterm births to diseases of middle age. Yet when a baby is born, hospitals usually throw the placenta away.
- June 2, 2014: Fatty Liver Disease Prevented in Mice
Washington University in St. Louis
Studying mice, researchers have found a way to prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide.
- June 1, 2014: Pressure to Conform to Masculine Norms May Fuel HIV Risk Among Gay Black Men
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Family and cultural pressures to conform to prescribed masculine behaviors create social isolation and distress that may drive young gay black men to seek approval and acceptance through sexual behaviors, according to research led by investigators at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.
- May 31, 2014: On Leadership: The Decision to Become a Doctor
Washington Post PostTV
Lynne Meryl Mofenson, who leads the NICHD Maternal and Pediatric Infectious Disease Branch and who has done pioneering work in pediatric and maternal AIDS research, shares the story of how she decided to become a physician. She speaks to On Leadership editor Lillian Cunningham for this installment of "Micro Management Stories" video series.
- May 26, 2014: Fred Hutch Researchers Tackle Hot Flashes
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center News Release
New study, funded in part by NICHD, finds antidepressant nearly as effective as low-dose estrogen for cutting back hot flash frequency.
- May 21, 2014: NIH Pain Consortium's First Pain Care Curriculum Improves Clinical Skills
National Institute on Drug Abuse
An online training module designed for the evaluation and care of chronic pain greatly improved medical student clinical skills, according to a report in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
- May 21, 2014: Study Sees Bigger Role for Placenta in Newborns' Health
New York Times
The placenta, once thought sterile, actually harbors a world of bacteria that may influence the course of pregnancy and help shape an infant's health and the bacterial makeup of its gut, a new study has found.
- May 21, 2014: El Colesterol Alto Reduce la Fertilidad
Si la mujer o el hombre tienen un nivel alto de colesterol, tendrán más dificultades para concebir. El hallazgo de esta relación explicaría por qué algunas parejas no logran el embarazo a pesar de que no presentan problemas de fertilidad.
- May 21, 2014: NIH Selects 11 Centers of Excellence in Pain Education
NIH Pain Consortium
The National Institutes of Health Pain Consortium has selected 12 health professional schools as designated Centers of Excellence in Pain Education (CoEPEs). The CoEPEs will act as hubs for the development, evaluation, and distribution of pain management curriculum resources for medical, dental, nursing and pharmacy schools to enhance and improve how health care professionals are taught about pain and its treatment.
- May 20, 2014: One More Reason to Exercise Regularly
Approximately 18% of women are diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy – meaning they're up to seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. The good news is that even if you have gestational diabetes, exercise can help.
- May 20, 2014: Researchers find link between high cholesterol and infertility
The Washington Post
Couples with high cholesterol have more difficulty conceiving than those with normal levels of the substance in their blood, researchers reported Tuesday, in what they called the first study to link fertility difficulties to the fat molecule commonly associated with cardiovascular problems.
- May 19, 2014: Exercise Tied to Decreased Diabetes Risk among High-Risk Women
Yahoo Health/Reuters Health
Women who become diabetic during pregnancy may be able to avoid later developing type 2 diabetes with exercise, according to a new U.S. study.
- May 19, 2014: People More Likely to Choose a Spouse with Similar DNA
University of Colorado Boulder
Individuals are more genetically similar to their spouses than they are to randomly selected individuals from the same population, according to a new study from the University of Colorado Boulder.
- May 19, 2014: Racial Disparities seen in Rates of ER Visits by Newborns
Stanford School of Medicine
During the first month of life, African-American newborns are brought to emergency departments at roughly twice the average rate of all newborns, according to a study led by a researcher at the Stanford School of Medicine.
- May 14, 2014: Dangerous, Underpaid Work for the Undocumented
Illegal immigrants don't hold the most dangerous jobs in America. That kind of work pays a decent wage for the risk to life and limb, and undocumented workers are barred from those jobs. Yet there is plenty of hazard, risk and occupational injury for the uncounted millions of illegal immigrants doing the "merely dangerous" work no one else wants – without a pay premium from employers who take advantage of that labor pool, a Cornell-Penn State University study reveals.
- May 12, 2014: Bullying's Long-Term Effects Seen in Both the Bullied and the Bully
While bullied kids can have depression and anxiety in adulthood, the bullies may have less chronic stress.
- May 3, 2014: Duke Medicine Researchers Clarify Use of Anti-Fungal Drug for Premature Babies
Duke Medicine News and Communications
In most cases, neonatal doctors should avoid prescribing the drug, fluconazole, to prevent a potentially fatal fungal infection, according to a study by Duke Medicine researchers that was funded in part by NICHD.
- May 2, 2014: Back to Sleep? Parents Ignore Warnings Against Tummy Sleep
A significant number of infants, especially those born prematurely, are still placed on their stomachs or sides to sleep — despite a campaign to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome by placing babies on their backs, new research confirms.
- April 24, 2014: Bullying Rates Drop Among American Teens: Study
American teens less likely to engage in bullying than they were a decade ago, according to a study by an intramural population health researcher at NICHD.
- April 18, 2014: What's Changed (and What Hasn't Changed) for People With Infertility in the Past 25 Years (Part 1)
Huffington Post blog by Barbara Collura, President/CEO, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association
During National Infertility Awareness Week, RESOLVE CEO looks back on the tremendous technological advances as well as medical discoveries over the past 25 years.
- April 13, 2014: Surge in Narcotic Prescriptions for Pregnant Women
New York Times Science
Doctors are prescribing opioid painkillers to pregnant women in astonishing numbers, according to a study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology funded in part by NICHD.
- April 6, 2014: Es Buena la Aspirina en el Embarazo?
La efectividad de prescribir dosis bajas de aspirina a mujeres que han perdido un bebe durante estuvieron embarazadas.
Questions? Contact Meredith Daly in the Public Communications Branch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that inclusion of an item on this page is not an endorsement.