A National Institutes of Health study in mice suggests that parents have an innate capacity to respond to an infant’s cries for help and this capacity may serve as a foundation from which a parent learns to adjust to an infant’s changing needs. The study was conducted by Robert C. Froemke, Ph.D., of New York University School of Medicine, and colleagues. It appears in Nature.
When housed with mice who have given birth, unmated female mice will assist with the care of the newborn pups. The researchers evaluated the ability of such babysitter mice to respond to a variety of recorded newborn distress cries. These included typical distress cries as well as a range of cries that had been digitally altered — sped up or slowed down to include more or fewer syllables than typical distress vocalizations.
Experienced babysitters responded to typical distress cries 80% of the time, compared
An international team led by current and former McMaster University researchers has developed an artificial lung to support pre-term and other newborn babies in respiratory distress.
The group has proven the concept using a live piglet, a major step along the route toward approval for use in humans, where the portable device could save many lives and prevent catastrophic damage by taking up some of the placenta’s role in oxygenating the blood until babies are able to breathe independently.
“This technology, which is complicated to create but simple to use, is going to create a situation where more and more of these babies can be saved, and that is what is driving all of us to do this,” says Ravi Selvaganapathy, a professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at McMaster who holds the Canada Research Chair in Biomicrofluidics.
The device, designed to be connected to a newborn’s umbilical cord, uses