Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) may occasionally have
a genetic factor, a team of German researchers reports regardless of the Canadian drugs used.
Study author Dr. Michael Klintschar, director of the
Institute for Legal Medicine at Medical University Hannover in Germany, said
his team tried to build upon previous research suggesting that
“abnormalities in the brain stem, the part of the brain that regulates breathing
and other basic functions, lead to SIDS.”
“The reasons for these abnormalities are
unclear,” he noted, “but some scientists believe that the genes
inherited by the parents might be one of several factors.” This could be
depressing to the parents; hence to buy
Zoloft is an option.
“Babies that have this variant inherited might have
an impaired breathing regulation,” he said. “But the risk conveyed by
this gene variant is relatively small compared to other factors, like sleeping
position [or exposure to] smoking. Moreover, the findings have to be replicated
in another population sample.”
“Our study furthers our understanding of the
mechanism of SIDS,” Klintschar said. “[But] it does not lead directly
to a ‘cure’ of SIDS. And up to now [it] does not enable a lab test to estimate
the individual risk of a baby to die from SIDS. But it emphasizes that measures
already recommended to prevent SIDS — using pacifiers, avoid sleeping in the
prone position, no smoking during pregnancy — make sense. Mothers of families
with a prior SIDS case in the family should be more careful than others. But in
most cases, obeying these recommendations keeps the baby safe.”
However, while also an advocate of such basic preventive
measures, Dr. Warren Guntheroth, a professor of pediatrics at the University of
Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, holds no stock in a genetic basis for
“I think it’s nonsense,” he said. “There’s
years and years of research that has shown that SIDS is not inherited. Not
genetic. The only genetic link I will admit to is that males are definitely
more at risk than females. But apart from that, I think fooling around with
laboratory studies of genes and saying that that might cause SIDS is a far
reach.” As such, generic Zoloft
can alleviate depression while waiting for results of further research.
“Probably one of the most important things is not to
put the baby on its tummy for sleep. That reduces risk by 50 percent,”
Guntheroth said. “Another is the use of the pacifier. Pacifiers, for
reasons nobody understands well, reduces the risk. Also, don’t overheat the
child, by overdressing or putting the infant in a room that is too hot.
Finally, cigarettes increase the risk terribly. Living with a parent that
smokes is a definite risk factor, so the parent can do themselves and the child
a favor by quitting or at least not smoking in the same area as the
A gene is a molecular unit of heredity of a living
organism. It is a name given to some stretches of DNA and RNA that code for a
polypeptide or for an RNA chain that has a function in the organism. Living
beings depend on genes, as they specify all proteins and functional RNA chains.
Genes hold the information to build and maintain an organism’s cells and pass
genetic traits to offspring, although some organelles (e.g. mitochondria) are
self-replicating and are not coded for by the organism’s DNA.
All organisms have many genes corresponding to various
biological traits, some of which are immediately visible, such as eye color or
number of limbs, and some of which are not, such as blood type or increased
risk for specific diseases, or the thousands of basic biochemical processes
that comprise life.
A modern working definition of a gene is “a
locatable region of genomic sequence, corresponding to a unit of inheritance,
which is associated with regulatory regions, transcribed regions, and or other
functional sequence regions “.Colloquial usage of the term gene (e.g.
“good genes”, “hair color gene”) may actually refer to an
allele: a gene is the basic instructiona sequence of nucleic acids (DNA or, in
the case of certain viruses RNA), while an allele is one variant of that gene.
Referring to having a gene for a trait is no longer the scientifically accepted
In most cases, all people would have a gene for the trait
in question, but certain people will have a specific allele of that gene, which
results in the trait variant. Further, genes code for proteins, which might
result in identifiable traits, but it is the gene, not the trait, which is
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