birth defect

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Girl With Zika-Linked Birth Defect Born in NJ

Mother became infected in Honduras

(Newser) - It's believed to be a first in the continental US, and it was probably inevitable. A baby girl with severe microcephaly was born at a hospital in Hackensack, NJ, on Tuesday to a mother infected with the Zika virus, ABC News reports. The CDC confirmed in April that the... More »

It's Official: Zika Causes Birth Defects

What was long suspected has been confirmed by the CDC

(Newser) - What has long been suspected was finally confirmed by the CDC on Wednesday: The Zika virus causes birth defects, Time reports. According to the BBC , hundreds of babies in Brazil have been born with microcephaly since the Zika outbreak started, but so far the link between the two hadn't... More »

Study Highlights Zika's Devastating Spread to Fetus

Study offers strongest evidence yet of birth defects from virus

(Newser) - The Zika virus' apparent effect on fetuses is on shocking display in a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine that was rushed to publication given the virus' spread . Though it offers no definitive link between Zika and fetal abnormalities, the study does produce the first evidence of... More »

Alarming Birth Defect Rises Sharply in Past 20 Years

About 2K babies are now born with gastroschisis every year

(Newser) - It's a birth defect the Los Angeles Times calls "bizarre": gastroschisis, where the intestines (and sometimes other organs) protrude out of a hole in the abdominal wall. And in its weekly "Morbidity and Mortality" report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sounds an alarm. The prevalence... More »

This Virus May Be Causing Birth Defects

Mosquito-borne Zika illness is heading north

(Newser) - It’s no secret: Mosquitoes are out to get you. More than a million people worldwide die from mosquito-borne maladies annually, according to the American Mosquito Control Association . And now those bloodsuckers have a new weapon in their arsenal: the heretofore rare Zika virus that is sweeping north in South... More »

Baby Born With No Eyeballs

Expanders are sutured into his eye sockets so that one day he may get a transplant

(Newser) - When Kelly Lopez gave birth to a baby boy three months ago in Mesa, Ariz., she didn't think much of the fact that her newborn wasn't opening his eyes until hours went by. By 13 days of age, Richie Lopez had an MRI, and the family was shocked... More »

Fatal Birth Defects a Mystery in Rural Washington

23 cases of anencephaly reported in a 3-year period

(Newser) - Anencephaly is a "uniformly fatal" birth defect that leaves babies born without part of their brain or skull—and it's been striking three counties in rural Washington state at a rate at least four times the national average. But the cluster—in Yakima, Franklin, and Benton counties—remains... More »

New Birth Defect Risk: Dad's Vitamin Deficiency

Father's lack of B9 jacks risk 28% in baby mice

(Newser) - Seems it's not just moms-to-be who need to watch what they eat. Men who don't get enough vitamin B9 may put their children at higher risk of birth defects, a study suggests. "It’s always put on the mother that it’s her health that determines the... More »

'Crack Babies' Not Such a Big Worry After All

Factors other than cocaine may have fueled 1980s fears

(Newser) - All that time spent worrying about "crack babies" in the 1980s may have been for naught: Researchers reviewed 27 previous studies involving some 5,000 teens whose mothers had been cocaine users during pregnancy and found little proof of any major long-term ill effects. Though the kids (all from... More »

New Link to Birth Defects: Dad's Job

Artists, physicists, hairdressers among jobs associated with increased risk

(Newser) - Yet another thing for pregnant women to worry about: Their partner's choice of profession in the months before conception could increase the risk of birth defects in their newborns, finds a new study. Researchers studied more than 14,000 dads who worked in one of 63 job categories from... More »

US Weapons Caused Birth Defects in Fallujah

Study finds link to weapons like depleted uranium

(Newser) - US weapons likely caused a horrifying spike in birth defects among the people of Fallujah, according to doctors and a recent study of hair samples. Evidence has long connected American weapons like white phosphorous and depleted uranium to birth defects in the Iraqi city, which suffered devastating US attacks in... More »

Fisherman Nabs Cyclops Shark

But creature likely wouldn't have survived outside of womb

(Newser) - I've got my eye on you, cyclops shark. But you appear to be the real thing—or so say experts who have examined the one-eyed creature cut from the belly of a pregnant shark hooked out of the Gulf of California on a sport fishing expedition. "This is... More »

Agent Orange Cleanup Begins in Vietnam

US will join decontamination effort early next year

(Newser) - Vietnam today started the first phase of a joint plan with former enemy the United States to clean up environmental damage leftover from the chemical defoliant Agent Orange, a lasting legacy from the Vietnam War. Vietnam's Ministry of Defense will begin sweeping areas around the Danang airport, a former... More »

Spina Bifida Breakthrough: Surgery Before Birth

Treatment in womb for birth defect more effective, study finds

(Newser) - Surgery on babies still in the womb has long largely been restricted to those who would die otherwise, but a landmark study is likely to lead to a surge of research into fetal surgery to treat birth defects. Surgeons found that repairing spina bifida—a debilitating spinal condition that 1,... More »

Newborn Kitten Has Two Faces

Birth defect reduces chance tiny feline will survive

(Newser) - A newborn kitten is turning heads because she has an unusual birth defect—two faces. The funky feline, inventively named Two Face by her startled owner, has a condition called diprosopus , her veterinarian tells WCHS , the ABC affiliate in Charleston, WV. "I gave her about a 50-50 prognosis, and... More »

Birth Defects Linked to US Fallujah Fighting

Parents, docs complain of upsurge of problems since attack

(Newser) - Iraqi parents and doctors are attributing an upsurge in birth defect problems in Fallujah to a major US military offensive there. Doctors report seeing as many as three cases of birth defects a day now. The US denies a problem exists. "No studies to date have indicated environmental issues... More »

Iraqi War Zone Sees Big Spike in Birth Defects

Fallujah reports unusually high rate of abnormalities

(Newser) - Doctors in Fallujah are seeing an alarming rise in the number of birth defects and early life cancers. They have no definitive evidence, but suspicion has naturally fallen on toxic materials left behind after years of modern warfare, reports the Guardian . The rate of birth defects—including multiple tumors, nervous... More »

Birth Defects May Be Tied to Pesticide Levels

(Newser) - Babies conceived between April and July—the period when surface-water concentrations of pesticides are at their highest—run an increased risk of having a birth defect, Reuters reports. “Our study didn't prove a cause and effect link,” the lead researcher said, but “the fact that birth defects... More »

Birth Defects, IVF Linked, but How Linked?

Study finds increased genetic issues among test tube babies

(Newser) - Though the octuplets have pushed in vitro fertilization into the spotlight, there's still one question that's going largely unasked, reports the New York Times: "What is the chance that an IVF baby will have a birth defect?" Though a November study provided preliminary evidence—of 9,584 babies with... More »

Go Ahead, Marry Your Cousin

Relatively small chance of birth defects doesn't warrant the taboo, says new report

(Newser) - Laws against first cousins marrying are unnecessary and should be repealed, argue two scientists in a recent Public Science of Biology editorial. The risk of genetic defects in children born of cousin marriages is estimated at 2%-3% higher than in the general population, Wired reports, but no greater than that... More »

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