Cellular metabolism helps govern the speed of embryonic development, according to an NIH funded study. Insights from the work help explain why different animal species develop at distinct rates. The findings also suggest the potential to manipulate developmental rates at the cellular level.
NICHD issues News Releases and Media Advisories to the news media. Spotlight and Research Feature articles explain NICHD research findings and public health issues to the general public. An Item of Interest is a short announcement of relevant information, such as a notable staff change.
Selected NICHD Research Advances of 2022
Read about NICHD’s research findings and activities from 2022.
Media Advisory: NIH-funded scientists generate a mouse embryo model that develops neural tubes
Scientists funded in part by NICHD have generated a mouse embryo model, or embryoid, that develops beyond neurulation—formation of the neural tube, which gives rise to the central nervous system—and closely mirrors natural mouse embryos 8.5 days after fertilization. These embryoids offer a promising model system for research into factors affecting mammalian embryonic development and disease.
Spotlight: Selected NICHD Research Advances of 2021
Read about NICHD’s research findings and activities from 2021.
Item of Interest: PregSource® Mobile App Allows Access from Anywhere
It just got easier to participate in the PregSource®: Crowdsourcing to Understand Pregnancy research project. The free app allows participants to track their weight, sleep, mood, and other features of their pregnancy in just a few taps.
Item of Interest: Four NICHD Grantees Honored with PECASE Award
Four NICHD grantees will be honored July 25 in Washington, DC, with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. More than 300 researchers across the country are award recipients, the White House announced July 2.
Item of Interest: Interested in Medical Rehabilitation? NIH Wants to Hear from You
NIH invites comments on its Plan of Rehabilitation Research to help update the plan.
Spotlight: Accelerating Research on Childhood Cancer and Birth Defects
A child born with a structural birth defect has a higher risk of developing childhood cancer. Researchers aren’t sure why such a link exists, but thanks to the NIH Common Fund’s Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research Program, commonly called Kids First, scientists now have resources and clues to decode this connection.
Science Update: Testosterone protects males from miscarriage caused by genomic instability and inflammation
The anti-inflammatory properties of testosterone appear to protect male mouse embryos from certain types of DNA damage and inflammation that are fatal to female mouse embryos, according to a recent NICHD-supported study.
Release: NIH launches INCLUDE Project
New trans-NIH INCLUDE Project will focus on improving the health and well-being of people with Down syndrome, while also studying risk and resilience factors for common diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
Science Update: Maternal genetic material essential for embryo development, NIH-funded study suggests
A molecule containing genetic instructions passed on from the mother to the egg must be present for the fertilized egg to survive and develop into a normal embryo, according to results of an NICHD-funded zebrafish study.
Spotlight: Selected NICHD Research Advances of 2017
Over the past year, NICHD contributed to numerous scientific advances and key initiatives.
NIH invests $46 million in technologies to monitor placental health
The National Institutes of Health has announced $46 million in research awards for the Human Placenta Project, an initiative to revolutionize understanding of the placenta. The awards will fund technology development and testing to assess placental function throughout pregnancy, with the ultimate goal of improving pregnancy outcomes and lifelong health.
Vitamin E deficiency could lead to brain damage, zebrafish study suggests
Lack of vitamin E may contribute to cognitive disorders by robbing brain cells of a substance important for their structure, according to a study of zebrafish funded by the National Institutes of Health.
NIH announces $41.5 million in funding for the Human Placenta Project
The National Institutes of Health has dedicated $41.5 million for an initiative to understand and monitor the development of the human placenta during pregnancy. The funding will support the development of new technologies to assess the health of the placenta as it grows and matures, with the ultimate goal of improving the health of mothers and children.
Mouse study reveals potential clue to extra fingers or toes
Researchers working with mice have uncovered a potential clue to polydactyly—a birth defect involving extra fingers on the hand or extra toes on the feet. The researchers have found that a mouse version of polydactyly results from a malfunction of the cellular machinery that processes one of the cell’s internal transportation vehicles.
NIH Institutes Commit $2 Million to Small Businesses to Promote Placental Research
This month the NICHD and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) reissued two funding announcements, inviting grant applications for the development of methods to assess placental development and function. The Institutes intend to commit an estimated total of $2 million to small businesses in 2015 to support this research.
NeuroBioBank gives researchers one-stop access to post-mortem brains
To expedite research on brain disorders, the National Institutes of Health is shifting from a limited funding role to coordinating a Web-based resource for sharing post-mortem brain tissue. Under a NIH NeuroBioBank initiative, five brain banks will begin collaborating in a tissue sharing network for the neuroscience community.
Flu in pregnancy may quadruple child’s risk for bipolar disorder
Pregnant mothers’ exposure to the flu was associated with a nearly fourfold increased risk that their child would develop bipolar disorder in adulthood, in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The findings add to mounting evidence of possible shared underlying causes and illness processes with schizophrenia, which some studies have also linked to prenatal exposure to influenza.
NICHD reorganizes extramural program
Alan Guttmacher, M.D., Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) announced a number of changes to streamline the institute’s organizational structure and accelerate the exchange of scientific ideas.