How air pollution alters fetal development during pregnancy

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Diabetes, obesity, neurodevelopmental impairment… Pollution presents a major risk for the development of the unborn child. To understand the mechanisms, Inserm researchers looked at how the DNA of the placenta is modified by exposure to three major air pollutants. By comparing data from 1,500 French pregnant women, they revealed different incidences depending on the sex of the fetus.

A team from the Institute for the Advancement of Biosciences (Inserm/CNRS, University of Grenoble-Alpes) looked at data from 1,500 French pregnant women to understand how exposure to pollutants alters fetal development. . Here, an eight-week-old fetus. | GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO


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  • A team from the Institute for the Advancement of Biosciences (Inserm/CNRS, University of Grenoble-Alpes) looked at data from 1,500 French pregnant women to understand how exposure to pollutants alters fetal development. . Here, an eight-week-old fetus. | GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

How does air pollution impact the development of the unborn child? A team of researchers, led by Johanna Lepeule from Inserm, within the Institute for the Advancement of Biosciences (Inserm/CNRS, University Grenoble-Alpes) looked at data from 1,500 women pregnant, French, to understand by what mechanisms the development of the fetus is altered.

“Greater vulnerability” for boys

The researchers moved on to…

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