Connect with us

Health

Study reveals how a baby’s sex is determined

Published

on

A new study has revealed that a baby’s sex is not just about the X-Y chromosomes, but involves a ‘regulator’ that increases or decreases the activity of genes which decide if a baby becomes male or female.

An embryo with two X chromosomes will usually become a girl, while an embryo with an X-Y combination results in a boy, however  Medical researchers at Melbourne’s Murdoch Children’s Research Institute with the new study have given more insights on the regulator and disruptions during sex development.

One of the researchers, Ms Crost said, the Y chromosome carries a critical gene, called SRY, which acts on another gene called SOX9 to start the development of testes in the embryo. High levels of the SOX9 gene are needed for normal testis development.

“However, if there is some disruption to SOX9 activity and only low levels are present, a testis will not develop resulting in a baby with a disorder of sex development.”

Lead author of the study, Professor Andrew Sinclair said, 90 percent of human DNA is made up of so called ‘junk DNA or dark matter’ which contains no genes but does carry important regulators that increase or decrease gene activity.

He said these regulatory segments of DNA are called enhancers adding that if these enhancers that control testis genes are disrupted it may lead to a baby being born with a disorder of sex development.

Professor Sinclair, who is also a member of the Paediatrics Department of the University of Melbourne said, this study sought to understand how the SOX9 gene was regulated by enhancers and whether disruption of the enhancers would result in disorders of sex development.

He said importantly, we identified XX patients who would normally have ovaries and be female but carried extra copies of these enhancers, (high levels of SOX9) and instead developed testes. In addition. “We found XY patients who had lost these SOX9 enhancers, (low levels of SOX9) and developed ovaries instead of testes,” he said.

Professor Sinclair said that across the human genome there were about one million enhancers controlling about 22,000 genes.

Ms Croft said, “This study is significant because in the past researchers have only looked at genes to diagnose these patients, but we have shown you need to look outside the genes to the enhancers.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Health

Healthy food choices for kids this holiday

Published

on

It is the holiday season, one of the most exciting, adventurous, memorable and fun time of the year for kids. But many parents get stressed planning what to feed their wards during the holiday.

Most parents who spoke with this newspaper complained their wards consumed too much sugar which could lead to health problems.

Others lamented that keeping the kids active proves to be challenging as most parents are busy with their schedules.

A 2016 survey by the World Health Organisation(WHO) research shows 41 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese.

A 2016 UNICEF report revealed that five in six children under two years old are not fed enough nutritious food for theirage, depriving them of the energy and nutrients they need at the most critical time in their physical and cognitive development.

“Infants and young children have the greatest nutrient needs than at any other time in life. But the bodies and brains of millions of young children do not reach their full potential because they are receiving too little food, too late,” said France Begin, Senior Nutrition Adviser at UNICEF. “Poor nutrition at such a young age causes irreversible mental and physical damage.”

UNICEF data show that poor nutritional practices– including the delayed introduction of solid foods, infrequent meals and lack of food variety – are widespread, depriving children of essential nutrients when their growing brains, bones and bodies need them the most.

Childhood obesity is particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start children on the path to health problems that were once considered adult problems — diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Therefore, it is essential for parents to monitor what their wards consume this holiday season.

The question from most parents will be “Can children eat healthily, yet enjoy their favourite summer foods?” Yes, they can have hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream treats, and desserts — if you handle it right.

Three rules for parents

Rule #1 – A dietician in St. Petersburg who is a member of American Dietetic Association (ADA). Sarah Krieger said children should be allowed to eat sweets. “It’s really important to treat sweets like any other food, to have a little bit every day. That’s how kids develop a healthy relationship with sweet foods.”

So, parents should not make Hollandia yoghourt, Ribena, biscuits a minute by minute snack.

Rule #2: A nutrition consultant in New York City, Elisa Zied said parents must ensure children burn off the calories.

Ms Zied, who is the author of the book Feed Your Family Right!, also teaches kids to share sweet and fatty foods — so everyone gets a taste, but no one overeats.

Rule #3: Similarly, the director of nutrition for the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami School of Medicine, Sheah Rarback, urged parents and guardian to be good role models. “Expose kids to healthy foods — or at least healthier versions of their favourites. If you eat them, your kids will eat them.”

Parents should be aware of eating a variety of foods keeps meals interesting for children. It is also the key to a healthy and balanced diet because each food has a unique mix of nutrients

To avoid obesity in children, It is therefore essential for parents and guardian to create “A Kid’s Healthy Eating Plate”. This is a blueprint to help make the best eating choices.

Breakfast suggestions

Bread, tea and egg, Rice Krispies and egg, pap (brown) and milk, cornflakes, oatmeal (with milk and fruits), pancakes and hot beverages, bread and peanut butter spread, pap and moin moin, boiled potatoes and egg sauce, vegetable omelette, yoghurt parfait, noodles (vegetables and egg)

Snacks

Assorted fruits (make it as colourful as possible, colours attracts kids), vegetable puree, low-fat yoghurt

Lunch suggestions

White rice (with chicken and stew), beans with flaked fish and diced plantain, pasta with minced meat, amala or semo with ewedu, ogbono, vegetable, egusi soup with protein, French fries with chicken and ketchup, jollof rice and chicken, fried rice, boiled yam and beans pottage, vegetable yam.

Early dinner

Fruit Salad: watermelon, pawpaw, pineapple, smoothies and steamed vegetables,

Dinner suggestions

Boiled yam, moin-moin and eko, white rice and boiled veggies, spaghetti and vegetable corn beef stew, couscous and vegetable sauce, semi ripe plantain porridge with vegetable and fish.

Continue Reading

Health

Breastfeeding mothers can have sex, no link between sperm and breast milk — experts

Published

on

Two medical experts, Mrs Subedetu Nafiu, a Family Planning Manager and Mr Olusola Malomo, a Nutritionist, on Friday said that breastfeeding mothers could still enjoy sex while breastfeeding saying, there is no relationship between sperm and breast milk.

The experts spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the just-concluded World Breastfeeding Week at the Ajeromi General Hospital in Ajegunle, Lagos.

The experts debunked the notion that sperm could contaminate breast milk, during sex with breastfeeding mothers.

Nafiu, who is also a child welfare manager, said that there was no relationship between sperm and breast milk and that people should stop spreading false information on whether the child would suck sperm from breast milk.

“This myth makes many women to stay away from performing their marital rights because they are breastfeeding and might cause more harm to marriages.

“There is no relationship between sperm and breast milk flow, a mother is free to meet her husband while she breastfeeds.

“Women should allow their husbands to sleep with them, it doesn’t make the child sick,’’ she said.

Nafiu advised women on exclusive breastfeeding, saying, it is a safe method of family planning that can help space their children.

“The kind of exclusive breastfeeding is the one that the mother did not mix any other thing with breast milk for six months, such woman’s body biologically plans itself towards conception,’’ she said.

To corroborate the information, Malomo also said that no child sucks sperm from mother’s breast and sex doesn’t disrupt any natural nutrient in the breast milk.

“The way the body was made, physiologically, sperm and breast milk cannot meet, let to say it can cause harm to the baby, so enjoy your sex life while you breastfeed,” he said.

Continue Reading

Health

Adadevoh: ECOWAS honours late doctor for curbing Ebola

Published

on

The 2018 ECOWAS Prize of Excellence has been posthumously awarded to a former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan and Dr Ameyo Adadevoh for their contributions to region’s well-being.

The prize was presented to representatives of their families at the 55 Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on Saturday in Abuja, NAN reports.

The award was also presented to Madam Germaine Acogny, a Senegalese dancer and choreographer responsible for developing African Dance and the creation of several dance schools in France and Senegal.

The wife of the former UN secretary-general, Nane Annan, the son of Adadevoh, Bankole Cardoso and Acogny received the awards and cash prizes of 20,000, $10,000 and $15,000 each.

Annan, who died on Aug. 18, 2018, was a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from Jan. 1997 to Dec. 2006.

He and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize and was also the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation.

Also, Adadevoh, who was confirmed to have tested positive for Ebola virus disease on Aug. 4, 2014, and was being treated, died on Aug. 19, 2014.

She is renowned for her contributions towards curbing the spread of Ebola virus in Nigeria by placing the patient zero, Patrick Sawyer, in quarantine despite pressures from the Liberian government.

The wife of Annan, who gave an appreciation speech on behalf of the recipients, expressed gratitude to ECOWAS for the award.

“Thank you for this generous recognition of the immense contribution to the objectives of ECOWAS by my husband and dear friend.

“I would also like to thank ECOWAS on behalf of the two other laureates, two outstanding women of West Africa, the late Dr Ameyo Adadevoh her selfless sacrifice to curb the spread of Ebola in Nigeria.

“And Madam Germaine Acogny for the quality and richness of your artistic production,” she said.

She also said the Kofi Annan Foundation was working with ECOWAS and other partners in West Africa to strengthen democracy and elections, resolve conflicts, support reconciliation and improve food security.

Continue Reading

Like Us OnFacebook

Trending