DIR provides fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems through basic, clinical, and population-based research. Scroll through the following slideshow to learn about select scientific advances from each affinity group.
Attempting to Predict Shoulder Dystocia
Shoulder dystocia is a medical emergency that occurs when one or both of a baby’s shoulders get stuck during vaginal delivery. There is no clinically reliable method to predict the condition, which occurs in 0.2% to 3% of deliveries.
Understanding How School Food Availability Affects Students’ Eating Behaviors
Both the foods available at school and those available at food outlets in the surrounding neighborhood may impact an adolescent’s diet.
Read about work from the Social and Behavioral Sciences Branch suggesting that the neighborhood food environment may influence relationships between the in-school food environment and students’ eating behaviors.
Identifying Placental-Related Genes that Regulate Birthweight
A fetus develops and grows in the womb for nearly 10 months, but the environment in which this occurs can set the stage for a person’s future health.
Characterizing Dual-Function Small RNAs
Small RNAs (sRNAs) help regulate gene expression—the degree to which genes are turned “on” or “off”—by interacting with messenger RNA. Some sRNAs encode a small protein in addition to this regulatory role.
Characterizing Immune Responses in Pregnancy
Infections during pregnancy can lead to poor health outcomes for the fetus and the pregnant person. The bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a common cause of severe, life-threatening infections during pregnancy.
Identifying New Targets of Protein Synthesis Regulation
Translation—the reading of messenger RNA (mRNA) to make proteins—begins at an mRNA sequence called the start codon. Appropriate selection of the start codon by the cell’s translation machinery is crucial for proper protein synthesis.
Developing Novel Methods to Study Social Neuroscience
Researchers studying brain activity have a variety of tools to characterize neural activity, but there are limitations to each approach. Multimodal neuroimaging combines data collected from more than one technique, where one technique’s strength can help compensate for another’s weakness.
Delving into Risk Factors for Childhood Asthma and Allergy
The causes of childhood asthma and other allergic diseases are complex and not fully understood. Development of these conditions may be linked to early exposures, including the use of infertility treatments by the child’s parents.
Mapping the Role of RHOA in Vascular Development
The protein RHOA is a master regulator of processes essential for development. However, its specific roles in vascular development—the formation of blood vessels—and the function of endothelial cells, which line blood vessels, are not clear.