Technology Inceptions: How to Reduce Heat Generated in Artificial Retina?  |  Science Innovations: How Uncertainty in Findings Impact Credibility of Climate Scientists  |  Teacher Insights: How Children Learn and Decide What to Teach  |  Health Monitor: New Solution to Reduce Tissue Damage in Heart Attack Developed  |  Education Information: AIIMS Bhubaneswar Got Second in Kayakalp Award for Second Year in a Row  |  Education Information: India gets maximum foreign students from Nepal, Karnataka for higher edu: HRD  |  Science Innovations: Caltech Scientists Discover Worms with Three Sexes  |  Education Information: Degree College Teachers Training Programme from 22nd Nov to 12th Dec 2019  |  Career News: ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE POST OF JOINT DIRECTOR, (NCERT)  |  National Edu News: UGC guidelines on plastic use  |  International Edu News: Asian students converge on 5 countries  |  Health Monitor: Playing With Fire  |  Finance: Trading in an Uncertain World   |  Technology Inceptions: Scientists are Wearing VR Goggles to Analyse Data  |  International Edu News: Macquarie University's Biofoundry to Set Up Synthetic Biology Center  |  
September 14, 2017 Thursday 04:40:15 PM IST

Mother's milk of premature babies different from others

Health Monitor

New York: The breast milk of mothers with premature babies has different amounts of key molecules than that of mothers with babies born at term which may help premature babies catch up in growth and development, say researchers.

In a study, researchers compared the breast milk of mothers with babies born prematurely -- between 28 and 37 weeks gestation -- and at term -- after 38 weeks.  They examined whether there were differences in the composition of the breast milks' microRNAs, snippets of RNA that affect gene expression and can be passed to the infant.

"We found that there are differences in these microRNA profiles, and that the majority of the altered microRNAs influence metabolism," said Molly Carney from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in the US. 

"If those microRNAs are being transferred to the infant, that could potentially impact how the newborn processes energy and nutrients," Carney said. The results -- published in the journal Pediatric Research -- could help better match babies with donated breast milk and give an insight into how to develop better infant formula.


Babies born prematurely are at risk of a host of problems, including failure to thrive and neuro-developmental delays. They also tend to be born at a lower weight than term infants. Because of these issues, premature babies have different nutritional needs than babies born at term.

In this study, the researchers identified nine microRNAs that were significantly different in the premature breast milk. They found that these microRNAs target metabolic processes and may help regulate gastrointestinal function and energy use in premature babies.

Comments