Researchers at NIH have discovered that mutations in the gene SPIN4 cause a rare overgrowth disorder in people.
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.
Science Update: NIH-funded researchers explore potential links between diabetes drug metformin and birth defects
Findings from study highlight importance of preconception health for fathers.
Science Update: Development scores higher for infants born later in term pregnancy, NIH study suggests
On average, scores on development tests were lower for infants born earlier in the range of a term pregnancy—from 37 to 41 weeks—than for those born later in the range, suggests a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The slight difference in scores, first apparent at eight months, persisted through age seven. The findings may have implications for current practice guidelines recommending induction of labor for non-medical reasons at the 39th week of pregnancy.
Spotlight: Selected NICHD Research Advances of 2021
Read about NICHD’s research findings and activities from 2021.
Item of Interest: Una Grewal Appointed Director of the Division of Population Health Research
Dr. Grewal has been acting director of the division since February 2020.
Science Update: Newborn genome sequencing information does not contribute to family distress, NIH-funded study suggests
Receiving detailed genomic information on their newborn’s potential risks for childhood and adult diseases does not appear to cause distress or anxiety among parents, suggests a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The findings could help to allay concerns that routinely sequencing newborn genomes to obtain information about their long-term health prospects may be too stressful for families.
Director's Corner: Reflecting on our Science Advances in 2020
2020 was a year filled with many challenges. NICHD remained focused on our core mission, advancing key research in women’s health, reproductive science, rare childhood diseases and many more. Watch the video below and review our research highlights of 2020.
Spotlight: Medical Rehabilitation Research Center Marks 30th Anniversary
The National Center for Medical Rehabilitation was established in 1990 through the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.
Science Update: In vitro fertilization may increase cancer risk among children with birth defects, NIH-funded study suggests
Children with birth defects have a higher risk of cancer than children without birth defects. Now, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have found that children conceived through in vitro fertilization—who have a higher risk of birth defects than children conceived naturally—also have a commensurately higher risk of cancer than naturally conceived children with birth defects.
Director's Corner: Celebrating 30 Years of Medical Rehabilitation Research
Our National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research has advanced the field with significant achievements over the past 30 years that have improved the health, independence and quality of life of people with disabilities.
Item of Interest: It’s a Small World After All for NICHD Researchers
Intramural Group Wins Microphotography Prize
Science Update: DNA sequencing technique helpful for identifying genetic causes of fetal fluid buildup, NIH-funded study suggests
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have used a rapid DNA sequencing technique to identify gene variants in roughly a third of cases of nonimmune Hydrops fetalis (NIHF), a serious condition in which a fetus develops fluid buildup inside the abdominal cavity, lungs, or other parts of the body. The findings suggest that the DNA sequencing technique, known as exome sequencing, could be used to provide information unavailable with current genetic testing methods.
Director's Corner: It’s a Family Matter: The NIH INCLUDE Project
The pandemic reinforces why the NIH INCLUDE (INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE) Project matters to families and communities.
Item of Interest: NIH Selects Centers to Advance Research on Fragile X Syndrome and Related Conditions
NIH announces funding for three centers for collaborative research on Fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of intellectual and developmental disability, and related conditions.
Director's Corner: Push to IMPROVE health outcomes for pregnant women
NIH has launched a new initiative that will combat the growing problem of maternal mortality and morbidity in the United States.
Release: Iodine exposure in the NICU may lead to decrease in thyroid function, NIH study suggests
Exposure to iodine used for medical procedures in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) may increase an infant’s risk for congenital hypothyroidism (loss of thyroid function), suggests a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.
Item of Interest: Ida Owens, Longtime NICHD Scientist Dies
Ida S. Owens, Ph.D., was internationally known for her research advances on the genetics of drug metabolism. She also was the first African American woman to earn a doctoral degree from Duke University.
Release: Benefits of fetal surgery to repair spina bifida persist through school age, NIH study finds
Children as young as 6 years old who underwent fetal surgery to repair a common birth defect of the spine are more likely to walk independently and have fewer follow-up surgeries, compared to those who had traditional corrective surgery after birth, according to researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Spotlight: Selected NICHD Research Advances of 2019
Read about NICHD’s notable research findings and activities from 2019.
Spotlight: Maternal Health Research Advances
NICHD was established more than 50 years ago to help understand maternal health and improve pregnancy outcomes. These selected advances highlight NICHD’s contributions to advancing the health and well-being of pregnant women, mothers, and families everywhere.