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Past News Items - December 2012


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In the News

Metagenics Dedicates Research Building in Honor of Jeffrey Bland, PhD

Heart cells beat in bioscaffold for babies

Myths about Dietary Supplement Niacin

Promising Results For Tests That Better Evaluate Potential Heart Attacks

Emerson Ecologics Establishes Practitioner Advisory Council For Emerson (PACE)

BrainStorm’s Outstanding ALS Clinical Data Chosen to Kick-Off the Israel Neurological Association Meeting

Roger Deutsch Addresses "Food Induced Inflammation and Aging" at Vienna's Prestigious December Conference on Anti-Aging

New Gene-Sequencing Tools Offer Clues to Highest-Risk Form of a Childhood Cancer

Chronic Disease Management Program Reduces Hospital Admissions and Length of Stay

Genes Linked To Low Birth Weight, Adult Shortness And Later Diabetes Risk




Released: 12/21/12


Metagenics Dedicates Research Building in Honor of Jeffrey Bland, PhD

 

On December 14, 2012, Metagenics held a dedication ceremony for its industry-leading MetaProteomics laboratory research facility at its Gig Harbor, Wash. Campus, naming it the Dr. Jeffrey S. Bland Science Center. The center was named in honor of Jeffrey Bland, PhD, FACS, CNS, a global leader in lifestyle medicine education and member of Metagenics Board of Directors. Dr. Bland has led groundbreaking studies in nutrigenomics—the science of nutrients as modulators for wellness—that have provided the platform for many of Metagenics' proprietary formulas and helped advance lifestyle medicine in modern clinical practices.

Dr. Bland has recently taken on a new role as founder and president of the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute (PLMI). The PLMI is a not-for-profit organization focused on promoting the importance of personalized lifestyle medicine as a safe and effective approach to addressing early stages of many common lifestyle-related diseases. To help the PLMI reach its goal of reducing the rising global burden of chronic illness, Metagenics provided the founding grant to the new organization. Dr. Bland will be providing continuing medical education programs for Metagenics that will promote the delivery of personalized lifestyle medicine as the best initial approach for the prevention and management of common chronic diseases.

“For the past 12 years, Dr. Bland has played an integral role in the research and development of forward-thinking products and lifestyle medicine programs at Metagenics that incorporate nutrigenomic principles and breakthrough findings—and have been implemented by healthcare practitioners around the world to improve patient health,” said Fred Howard, chief executive officer for Metagenics. “The dedication of our science center in Dr. Bland’s honor will serve as a lasting expression of our gratitude, and as an inspiration to advancing health care and helping people achieve their genetic potential.”

Howard was one of five company representatives to speak at the building's dedication ceremony. Matthew Tripp, PhD, vice president of research and development for Metagenics, John Troup, PhD, Metagenics’ new chief science officer, Kelly Bland, Dr. Bland’s son and a Metagenics’ sales professional and Kathy Sawyer, Dr. Bland’s long-time assistant all paid tribute to Dr. Bland.

When the science center was first unveiled in 2005, it housed proteomic laboratory technologies that were the first of its kind in the state of Washington and only the fourth in the US. Today, it continues to represent research capabilities that few companies of any size have been able to replicate.

 

Released: 12/14/12


Heart cells beat in bioscaffold for babies

A painstaking effort to create a biocompatible patch to heal infant hearts is paying off at Rice University and Texas Children's Hospital.

The proof is in a petri dish in Dr. Jeffrey Jacot 's lab, director of the Pediatric Cardiac Bioengineering Laboratory at the Congenital Heart Surgery Service at Texas Children's Hospital, where a small slab of gelatinous material beats with the rhythm of a living heart.

Jacot, lead author Seokwon Pok, a postdoctoral researcher at Rice, and their tissue-engineering colleagues have published the results of years of effort to produce a material called a bioscaffold that could be sutured into the hearts of infants suffering from birth defects. The scaffold, seeded with living cardiac cells, is designed to support the growth of healthy new tissue. Over time, it would degrade and leave a repaired heart.

The research was detailed in the Elsevier journal Acta Biomaterialia.

Patches used now to repair congenital heart defects are made of synthetic fabrics or are taken from cows or from the patient's own body. About one in 125 babies born in the United States suffers such a defect; three to six of every 10,000 have what's known as a defect called Tetralogy of Fallot, a cause of "blue baby syndrome" that requires the surgical placement of a patch across the heart's right ventricular outflow tract.

Current strategies work well until the patches, which do not grow with the patient, need to be replaced, said Jacot, also an assistant professor of bioengineering at Rice University, as well as an adjunct professor at Baylor College of Medicine.

"None of those patches are alive," Jacot said, including the biologically derived patches that are "more like a plastic" and are not incorporated into the heart tissue.

"They're in a muscular area in the heart that's important for contraction and, more so, for electrical conduction," he said. "Electrical signals have to go around this area of dead tissue. And having dead tissue means the heart produces less force, so it's not surprising that children with these types of repairs are more at risk for developing heart failure, arrhythmias and fibrillation.

"What we're making can replace current patches in an operation that surgeons are already familiar with and that has a very high short- and medium-term success rate, but with long-term complications," he said.

A better scaffold would have to perform many functions perfectly. It must be strong enough to withstand the pressures delivered by a beating heart yet flexible enough to expand and contract; porous enough to allow new heart cells to migrate, make connections and excrete their own natural scaffold to replace the patch; and tough enough to handle sutures but still be able to biodegrade over just the right amount of time for natural tissue to take over.

The sandwich the researchers created seems to fill the bill on all counts. In the middle is a self-assembled polycaprolactone (PCL) polymer that hardens into a tough but stretchable ribbon. Mixing two types of PCL with different molecular weights allows tiny pores to form along the rough surface. The "bread" is a hydrogel made from a 50/50 mixture of gelatin and chitosan, a widely used material made from the shells of crustaceans like shrimp.

Heart cells cultured on the hydrogel surface were able to thrive and formed networks and ultimately beat. Though cells could not attach to the surface or pass through the pores of the PCL, the pores do allow nutrients to migrate from one side to the other, Jacot said. They also allow the hydrogel to hold on to the PCL core.

The lab tested the biodegradable qualities of the PCL and found that over 50 days, about 15 percent dispersed, leaving a ragged sheet. "It degrades in water," Jacot said. "If it's in the body, it will degrade, but it will be very slow, over the course of months.

"It should be stable for long enough that it allows muscular tissue to build up and take over the mechanical process. We want a patch we can suture in that can instantly handle ventricular pressure. But if we look at it later, we want it to look like normal tissue," he said.

Years of testing await the researchers before human trials can begin, but Jacot and his team are already looking ahead to the possibilities their success could offer. They hope to find a way to mix stem cell-derived heart cells from a patient into the hydrogel at the beginning of the process; stem cells may be drawn from several possible sources, including amniotic fluid routinely drawn from the newborn's mother, the subject of ongoing study by Jacot's lab. The cells would make a patch genetically identical to the child that could be implanted shortly after birth.

"If we can make a patch that works immediately," Jacot said, "one that contracts and conducts and has living cells and grows with the patient, what other surgeries can we do that nobody can do now?"

 

Released: 12/14/12


Myths about Dietary Supplement Niacin

Maintaining high-density lipoprotein (HDL) within the normal range is an important factor in maintaining heart health. HDL cholesterol is also known as "good cholesterol" because it is thought to help move cholesterol out of the arteries and into the liver so the body can get rid of it. Nicotinic acid is a type of B vitamin that occurs naturally and is clinically proven to support HDL, but due to the nature of its name, consumers in need of heart health support may incorrectly associate nicotinic acid with nicotine, the addictive ingredient in cigarettes. What health-minded consumers need to know is that nicotinic acid is not nicotine, and in fact, is the only form of dietary supplement niacin clinically proven to support healthy good cholesterol.

"Maintaining heart health is critical to supporting overall health and there should never be confusion about which dietary supplement niacins are actually beneficial for supporting good cholesterol," said Dr. Lavie, Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention at the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute, New Orleans, LA. "Many of my patients don't know that the only form of dietary supplement niacin clinically proven to support healthy good cholesterol is nicotinic acid and because it sounds similar to the word 'nicotine' they are confused and may reach for niacin labeled 'flush-free' at the pharmacy."

Dietary supplement niacins advertised to be "flush-free" contain inositol hexaniacinate, inositol hexanicotinate, or nicotinamide but often do not contain the key ingredient nicotinic acid. Dietary supplement niacins come in many forms but only supplements containing nicotinic acid are clinically proven to support good cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (also known as HDL). A dietary supplement niacin that gradually delivers nicotinic acid to the body, like the unique polygel controlled-release system utilized by Slo-Niacin, is designed to minimize the symptoms of flushing. "I have been recommending dietary supplement niacin in the form of nicotinic acid in my clinic for heart health support for more than two decades," commented Dr. Lavie.

 

Released: 12/14/12


Promising Results For Tests That Better Evaluate Potential Heart Attacks

Acute chest pain is one of the most common reasons people seek emergency care, and time is a critical factor in diagnosing and treating people who may be having a heart attack. The latest generation of diagnostic tests in development is expected to provide information that will be important to patient outcomes, potentially reducing the time to diagnosis of heart attacks by several hours. The specific performance characteristics of several troponin tests were evaluated in a new study published in Clinical Chemistry.

Blood tests for troponin—a protein found in the heart muscle—can detect heart muscle injury. The study, "Determination of 19 Cardiac Troponin I and T Assay 99th Percentile Values from a Common Presumably Healthy Population," evaluated 19 cardiac troponin assays in a healthy population of men and women, and included Abbott's high sensitive Troponin-I assay currently under development.

"The focus of this study was to emphasize that presumably healthy individuals display different concentrations of cardiac troponin when measured by numerous troponin assays. High sensitivity troponin assays were shown to provide the ability to measure almost 100 percent of a healthy population, and demonstrated an important gender difference in normal cutoff cardiac troponin levels, with men having a higher value compared to women," wrote one of the study authors, Fred S. Apple, PhD, laboratory medicine and pathology, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis.

Recent advances have led to the development of highly sensitive troponin tests that have the potential to lead to a faster diagnosis of heart attacks. Many patients who visit the emergency department with a suspected heart attack currently have to undergo troponin tests upon admission, after six hours, and then 12 hours later before a definitive diagnosis is made. Highly sensitive troponin tests can potentially detect changes in troponin in three hours or less, which could allow doctors to reduce the time to diagnosis and potential treatment by several hours.

"The potential to quickly provide the correct diagnosis for patients with chest pain using these high sensitive troponin tests may help physicians provide the right care at the right time," said David Spindell, MD, vice president, Medical Affairs, Abbott. "Abbott is committed to improving the ability of physicians to accurately assess patients presenting with chest pain by developing more sensitive tests."

 

Released: 12/12/12


Emerson Ecologics Establishes Practitioner Advisory Council For Emerson (PACE)

Emerson Ecologics, LLC, the leading provider of the highest quality professional nutritional supplements to health care practitioners and their patients for over 30 years, today announced the creation of the Practitioner Advisory Council for Emerson (PACE). Composed of five members, PACE embodies the diverse perspectives and varied experiences of respected leaders in integrative health to create a rich source of intelligence for Emerson to better serve its customers and the industry. The goal in the formation of this advisory panel is to provide Emerson Ecologics with the input and guidance of influential thought leaders to gain additional practitioner insight, ultimately to ensure that Emerson is at the forefront of the needs of its customers.

The founding members are all active clinicians and selected based on their experience in and passion for integrative care, as well as their involvement in education.

Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO, the founding chair of PACE, is a naturopathic doctor with board certification in naturopathic oncology, an author and a director of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology. As the Vice President of Quality and Education at Emerson Ecologics, Dr. Alschuler developed and continues to oversee the Emerson Quality Program? (EQP), a first-of-its-kind quality verification program for nutritional supplement brands.

Peter Bongiorno, ND, LAc, a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist, is co-director of Inner Source Health and Vice President of the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians. With a neuro-endocrinology background, Dr. Bongiorno has authored and contributed to several natural medicine texts, and is an invited expert writer for the Dr. Oz website and Psychology Today.

Ronald Hoffman, MD, a medical doctor trained in internal medicine and a licensed acupuncturist, founded and is now the Medical Director of the Hoffman Center—one of New York's first comprehensive practices for innovative medical care. Past-president and long-term board member of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), Dr. Hoffman is also the host of the nationally-syndicated radio program Health Talk.

Daniel Kalish, DC, a chiropractor with an extensive background in functional medicine, founded two integrative health centers and now leads training programs for practitioners through Kalish Research. An author with an international phone consultation practice with patients throughout the world, Dr. Kalish also conducts research on amino acid treatments for brain healing.

Jason Wright, MS, LAc, a licensed acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, is an Associate Professor and the Dean of the Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine of New York Chiropractic College. Mr. Wright is also a founding member of the American Association of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) Good Preparation and Dispensing Practice Committee.

"Our vision for Emerson is that we are not only the go-to source of the highest quality nutritional supplements and natural products, but that we are a trusted partner for practitioners in running a successful practice and providing the best health care possible to their patients," remarked Andy Greenawalt Emerson Ecologics CEO. "Our advisory council will enable us to gain a greater perspective of what is going on in the industry to make sure we are exceeding customer needs while fully on top of emerging opportunities."

"We have assembled a remarkable group of highly-regarded leaders in their respective fields," commented Dr. Lise Alschuler, "which will create an invaluable resource to ensure that the voice of our practitioners is incorporated into Emerson's strategy."

"I am honored to have been selected as a charter member of the Practitioner Advisory Council for Emerson Ecologics," said Dr. Ron Hoffman. "Emerson is a recognized leader in sourcing products of excellence and providing education to practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine. Underscoring their commitment to staying in the vanguard of innovation," Hoffman continued, "Emerson has selected key representatives across the spectrum of natural medicine to collaborate in identifying priorities for product development and outreach. I look forward to applying my expertise in spotting trends and sharing knowledge with the vast audience Emerson commands with its extensive resources.”

 

Released: 12/12/12


BrainStorm’s Outstanding ALS Clinical Data Chosen to Kick-Off the Israel Neurological Association Meeting

Cell Therapeutics, a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies for neurodegenerative diseases, is proud to announce that its positive Phase I/II ALS clinical trial data was selected as the opening presentation of the prestigious Israel Neurological Association’s Annual Meeting, which will convene on December 12, 2012 in Jerusalem, Israel. The data, regarding the first 12 ALS patients in the trial, will be presented by Principal Investigator Dr. Dimitrios Karussis, MD, of the Neurology Department at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel.

The trial, which was designed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of BrainStorm's proprietary NurOwn cell therapy (bone marrow-derived, autologous, differentiated mesenchymal stromal cells) is being conducted at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel. The data being presented is on the first group of patients, all of whom suffer from early stage or progressive ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. All patients enrolled were transplanted with NurOwn either intramuscularly or intrathecally.

 

Released: 12/05/12


Roger Deutsch Addresses "Food Induced Inflammation and Aging" at Vienna's Prestigious December Conference on Anti-Aging

On December 6th, Roger Deutsch, CEO of Cell Science Systems & ALCAT Europe, will be addressing the acclaimed Vienna Conference on "Menopause, Andropause and Anti-Aging". His topic will be: "Food, Inflammation, and the Aging Process".

"This will be the largest grouping of doctors, 800 to 1,000, for a conference in Europe and I hope to bring real awareness to these practitioners on the topic of food induced inflammation and how it affects the aging process," said Deutsch. "I will specifically address how the chemical composition of foods can activate various receptors creating inflammatory or anti-inflammatory pathways in cells."

ALCAT Worldwide is a division of Cell Science Systems, where the ALCAT Test is performed in its impressive licensed and FDA compliant laboratory. The ALCAT Test is a simple blood test that measures the body's cellular response to a wide array of substances including foods, functional foods, medicinal herbs, food additives, food colorings, environmental chemicals, molds, pharmacoactive agents, and antibiotics. The ALCAT Test identifies the personal triggers of inflammation caused by foods and chemicals.

"Oxidative stress due to food intolerances has been linked to many degenerative diseases of aging including cardiovascular disease, dementia, insulin resistance; as well as inflammatory and auto-immune processes, such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases," added Deutsch.

"In the United States, the people and media are starting to realize the importance of hidden food allergies and I hope to continue this education at the conference in Vienna by having these doctors further understand the role of food on aging."

 

Released: 12/04/12


New Gene-Sequencing Tools Offer Clues to Highest-Risk Form of a Childhood Cancer

Using powerful gene-analysis tools, researchers have discovered mutations in two related genes, ARID1A and ARID1B, that are involved in the most aggressive form of the childhood cancer neuroblastoma. While these findings do not immediately improve clinical treatments, they identify a novel pathway that is defective in these cancers, a pathway that scientists can now study to develop potential new therapies.

"These gene alterations were not previously known to be mutated in neuroblastoma, and they may significantly advance our knowledge of the underlying biological pathways that drive this disease," said study leader Michael D. Hogarty, MD, a pediatric oncologist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"These two genes function in a group of genes that seems to play an important role in neural cell behavior, and we will now work to discover if this insight may open up new treatments for children with tumors having these mutations."

Hogarty, along with Victor Velculescu, MD, PhD, of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, co-led the study that appeared Dec. 2 in Nature Genetics.

The scientists received over $1 million in funding from the St. Baldrick's Foundation, a volunteer-driven and donor-centered charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research.

The current study employed sophisticated next-generation sequencing technology that identified the entire DNA sequence for a set of neuroblastoma tumors. "When this project started, it was the first of its kind to focus on a childhood tumor," said Hogarty. "This is important, because cataloguing all the DNA mutations in neuroblastoma, or any tumor, will allow us to better understand the enemy, and ultimately to make better treatment decisions."

Striking the peripheral nervous system, neuroblastoma usually appears as a solid tumor in the chest or abdomen of young children. It accounts for 7 percent of all childhood cancers, but 10 to 15 percent of all childhood cancer-related deaths.

In the current study, Hogarty and colleagues identified alterations in two genes, ARID1A and ARID1B, neither of which had previously been reported to be involved in neuroblastoma. Both genes are thought to affect chromatin, a combination of DNA and protein that regulates the activities of genes and ultimately controls the behavior of a cell. During normal development, neural cells switch from a primitive, rapidly dividing state (neuroblasts) into a more differentiated, or mature state (neurons).

However, said Hogarty, mutations in ARID1A and ARID1B may prevent this orderly transition, keeping the neural cells in the uncontrolled stage of growth that becomes a cancerous tumor. "Unfortunately, children with these mutations have a particularly aggressive, treatment-resistant form of neuroblastoma," he added. The current study found that ARID1A and ARID1B mutations occur in 5 to 15 percent of high-risk neuroblastomas, but the pathway these genes affect may have a broader role in the disease—a possibility that Hogarty and colleagues plan to investigate further. It is possible that children having tumors with these mutations will receive more aggressive or more experimental treatments in the future.

Ultimately, said Hogarty, studies of the pathway affected by these genes may lay the foundation for future targeted therapies aimed at this pathway.

 

Released: 12/04/12


Chronic Disease Management Program Reduces Hospital Admissions and Length of Stay

A chronic disease management program launched three years ago by Australia’s largest not-for-profit health insurer, the Hospitals Contributions Fund (HCF), has been found to significantly reduce the rate of hospital admissions for participants with heart disease and diabetes. The My Health Guardian program leads to reduced healthcare costs by helping people with chronic diseases self-manage their conditions. Published in the peer-reviewed journal, Population Health Management, the program’s impact on hospital admissions is reported in a first-of-its-kind study in Australia. These significant changes in healthcare utilization are indicative of improved population health and lead to reduced healthcare cost.

An evaluation of the program compared more than 5,000 My Health Guardian participants suffering from chronic heart disease and diabetes with a statistically comparable group of more than 23,000 non-participating HCF members with the same two conditions. Rates of hospital admission and readmission and the average length of stay (ALOS) were measured for both participating and non-participating groups over one year prior to the program’s commencement (as baseline), and again after the first 12 and 18 months of the program’s operation.

“The study bolsters the case for investment in effective chronic disease programs,” said HCF Managing Director Shaun Larkin. “Chronic illness accounts for 70 percent of Australia’s national disease burden today, and this is expected to increase to 80 percent by 2020. If we are serious about easing the strain on our health system, we need to gather evidence on programs that work. My Health Guardian offers a template for the way forward.”

Among key findings of the evaluation:

  • The program participant group (heart disease and diabetes) uniformly recorded lower hospital admission and readmission rates and ALOS than the non-participating group, after both the 12-month and 18-month period.
  • For participants with heart disease, the difference in percentage change in hospital admission rates compared to non-participants was -7.2 percent and -12.0 percent after 12 months and 18 months respectively. This participating group also recorded statistically significant improvement in readmission rate after 12 and 18 months and ALOS after 18 months compared to non-participants.
  • For diabetes sufferers, the difference in percentage change in hospital admission rates was -7.8 percent after 12 months and -13.4 percent after 18 months for program participants compared to non-participants.
  • The outperformance of program participants versus non-participants on all measures widened the longer they were in the program.

Launched as a $100 million investment by HCF, My Health Guardian offers support to members suffering from up to 12 chronic conditions, including diabetes and heart disease, which together account for the bulk of chronic illness in Australia. The program is delivered by population health provider Healthways and includes care management calls, personalized online health support, regular health assessments, health action plans and tracking of health behavior.

“Another significant implication of this study is the successful adaptation of a program model pioneered in the United States to improve outcomes in the context of the Australian culture and healthcare system,” said Dr. James Pope, MD, FACC, co-author of the study and vice president, Chief Science Officer at Healthways. “We were very pleased with the rates of participation among HCF members and the program’s strong outcomes. These results suggest comprehensive chronic care programs could by adopted by other countries that are experiencing rising prevalence of chronic disease along with the significant accompanying increase in medical expenditures and decrease in quality of life.”

Results from the study indicate that the My Health Guardian program offers an effective, scalable solution to contain costs by reducing lengthy hospital admissions through remote clinical support and online education and management resources.

 

Released: 12/04/12


Genes Linked To Low Birth Weight, Adult Shortness And Later Diabetes Risk

An international team of genetics researchers has discovered four new gene regions that contribute to low birth weight. Three of those regions influence adult metabolism, and appear to affect longer-term outcomes such as adult height, risk of type 2 diabetes and adult blood pressure.

"This large study adds to the evidence that genes have a strong influence on fetal growth," said one of the co-authors, Struan F.A. Grant, PhD, associate director of the Center for Applied Genomics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "The cumulative effect of the genes is surprisingly strong; it's equivalent to the effect of maternal smoking, which is already recognized as lowering a baby's weight at birth. We already know that a low birth weight increases the risk of health problems in adult life."?

The article, published Dec. 2 in Nature Genetics, was the second major study on birth weight by the Early Growth Genetics (EGG) Consortium, composed of groups of scientists from multiple countries, including the United Kingdom, Finland, the Netherlands, and the United States. Earlier this year, Grant was the lead investigator of an EGG study—the largest-ever genome-wide study of common childhood obesity—which found two novel gene variants that increase the risk of that condition.

The meta-analysis and follow-up study encompassed nearly 70,000 individuals, of European, Arab, Asian and African American descent, from across 50 separate studies of pregnancy and birth. In addition to confirming that three previously discovered genetic regions increased the risk of low birth weight, the consortium discovered four new regions: genes HMGA2, LCORL, ADRB1, and a locus on chromosome 5.

Two of the previously identified gene regions are connected to a risk of type 2 diabetes, while two of the newly found regions confer a risk of shorter adult stature. A third region, ADRB1, is associated with adult blood pressure—the first time that scientists have found a genetic link common to both birth weight and blood pressure.

The biological mechanisms by which the identified genetic regions function to influence early growth and adult metabolism remain to be discovered, although, said Grant, these regions offer intriguing areas on which to focus follow-up research.

Freathy, the study's lead investigator, summed up the study's findings by saying, "These discoveries give us important clues to the mechanisms responsible for the control of a baby's growth in the womb, and may eventually lead to a better understanding of how to manage growth problems during pregnancy."

"This study demonstrates that genes acting early in development have important effects on health both in childhood and beyond," added Grant. "While we continue to learn more about the biology, an important implication is that designing prenatal interventions to improve birth weight could have lifelong health benefits."

 

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