Exogenous microRNAs in maternal food pass through placenta, regulate fetal gene expression

In a new study published in the Protein & Cell, Chen-Yu Zhang’s group at Nanjing University reports that small non-coding RNAs in maternal food can transfer through placenta to regulate fetal gene expression.

MicroRNAs (miRNA) are a class of noncoding RNAs with lengths of approximately 22 nucleotides that bind to target messenger RNAs to inhibit protein translation. In previous studies, the same group has found that plant miRNAs can enter into the host blood and tissues via the route of food-intake. The food-derived exogenous miRNAs are absorbed, packaged into microvesical (MV) and then secreted into circulation by cells of animal GI tract. More importantly, once inside the host, the food-derived exogenous miRNAs can regulate host physiology by regulating host “target” genes in the cross-kingdom manner. In support of this new concept, they have also found a plant microRNA, MIR2911, which is enriched in honeysuckle, directly targets influenza A viruses (IAV) including H1N1, H5N1 and H7N9. Drinking of honeysuckle soup can prevent IAV infection and reduce H5N1-induced mice death.

Here, they report another surprising finding that exogenous plant miRNAs and artificial synthetic small influence RNAs (siRNAs) can transfer through the placenta and directly regulate fetus gene expression.

Diagram of microRNA. Based on [1], [2], [3], the wikipedia article, and various other sources. Kelvinsong - Own work

What I Wore | In Full Bloom
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WhatIWore: We had the most beautiful weekend here in Bloomington! On Saturday we had donuts at home, went to the farmer’s market and then spent the entire day hanging out in our friend’s backyard in the sunshine. I am in LOVE with this new dress (so much so I’m thinking of getting it in another color way) because it makes me feel like me

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Mitochondrial DNA of first Near Eastern farmers is sequenced for the first time

The mitochondrial DNA of the first Near Eastern farmers has been sequenced for the first time. In the research, published in the journal PLOS Genetics, experts analysed samples from three sites located in the birthplace of Neolithic agricultural practices: the Middle Euphrates basin and the oasis of Damascus, located in today’s Syria and date at about 8,000 BC.

The study is focused on the analysis of mitochondrial DNA —a type of non-Mendelian maternally inherited DNA— from the first Neolithic farmers, by means of samples obtained by the UAB research group which were first processed by the UB research group.

Agricultural and husbandry practices originated around 12,000 years ago in a region of the Near East known as the Fertile Crescent. This phenomenon, known as “Neolithic”, meant a profound social, cultural and economic transformation of human populations (agricultural production, sedentary farming lifestyle, origin of the first cities and modern societies, etc.). Read more.

Happy due date to us! Look at me wearing a non-maternity shirt like a person who is not pregnant! (Am I still wearing maternity pants and hospital-issue disposable underwear? Yes. Yes I am.)

When you don’t realise how cold it is and end up wearing a non-maternity coat that doesn’t fit (but was in the boot)… Also, can I just point out that my whole outfit is an atrocious mix? Fashion icon in the making! Oh, and I would’ve taken a better photo but it seems this was all I could fit of me in one picture thanks to my bump. 🙈 xx

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A top bun and a baby in my belly. Also, nothing fits these days. 😩 Any recommendations for cute maternity or non maternity clothing?

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Happy New Year! A lot has been happening around these parts and I’ve really missed [over]sharing with y'all. I hope that everyone had a happy holiday season. 

Whew. The above photo was taken yesterday morning– the beginning of week 29. And yes, I need to clean my mirror. That belly has exploded and I am well into stretching out any of the non-maternity clothes that I can still squeeze myself into. Thank goodness Santa & the birthday fairy heeded my call and brought me a few pairs of size up workout pants for Christmas. I have a feeling that will be a big part of my wardrobe towards the end of my pregnancy. 

I had a big checkup on New Years Eve. Glucose test, an u/s to check baby’s size, a visit with my favorite doc, and then a not so fun shot as I’m Rh-negative. Thankfully, I passed the glucose test literally by the skin of my teeth (we’re talking ONE DAMN POINT) and all is well with our little nugget. She did have one small issue that we discovered during our anatomy ultrasound @ 18 weeks but, thank God, it has since resolved itself. Healthy baby as far as we know. What a blessing to be able to say that. 

This child has apparently hit her growth spurt and is measuring almost 10 days ahead of where she should be (saying this in hopes that we have a healthy, chunky little girl not in hopes that she comes early at all). I realize this is only according to the doctor’s calculations (which put her at 3.6 lbs), but I can only assume that she’ll be a hearty nugget when the ultrasound tech exclaims “Holy cow- look at that femur! I’ve never seen anything like it!” Oh, and she’s still breech. I have been told to not worry about this until week 36- but I need to start preparing myself for the possibility that she might not decide to come naturally. I’m on the fence about trying an ECV so I’d love to hear from anyone that’s had experience [of any kind] in this department. 

FINALLY sweet baby decided to let us catch a QUICK glimpse of her face (thanks to the orange glucose drink I imagine). Oh, you guys- her lips and those cheeks! I can’t stop staring at her little features. I imagine that our desire to finally meet her will only increase as the weeks go on, but something about seeing her little face makes me giddy with excitement. 

Much to the avail of anyone over 65, I’m still wearing heels. The only issues with my feet thus far has come from going barefoot as my heels are starting to feel the impact of my (baby’s) weight gain. 

Thanks to 10 days off of work, we have nearly finished up baby H’s nursery. All that we are waiting for now is the delivery of her rocker (that I ordered way back in October). I always made fun of those folks that said they really enjoyed going to sit in the nursery before baby’s arrival- until I realized that I do that very same thing myself these days. The little room is just so serene and neutral. I can’t wait to share photos with y'all once it’s finally complete! 

Windsor is starting to get a little territorial with the baby’s room so I have taken to closing the nursery door during the day. Momma only needs to clean up so many messes during the day if you know what I mean. I’m not concerned about W bonding with Baby once she arrives but Windsor is not an idiot an clearly understands that something is about to change given the time we’ve been spending getting the room ready.

A few other tidbits over the past couple of weeks…

  • Weight gain thus far: 18 pounds
  • Cravings: chocolate milkshakes, red meat, avocado salad, hint water (particularly the mango/grapefruit and the blackberry)
  • Sleep: Ha. I toss and turn for a good majority of the night. Thank God for a king sized bed. 
  • I feel a little like a Shar-Pei these days. I’ll let you figure that one out for yourself. 
  • Discomfort: still in my right abdomen (directly related to the position of her head and giant cheeks), heels, sporadic charlie horse in both legs in the middle of the night

I do have some new “favorite things” to share later with you all. Not that I’m a maternity expert by any stretch of the imagination but just some goodies that I’ve come to love. Stay tuned as this post is already far too long. Sorry about that- but I told you I had a lot to share ;)


gloriousunderstanding replied to your post:For the character ask, Janeway.

*cries over your thoughts on J/7* Admittedly a maternal interpretation is possible, but part of being a giant lez is reinterpreting canon. We just don’t see older women as our moms, idk. Curious to hear your perspective as a bi person.

Yeah. I totally understand. And reinterpreting canon is important! And awesome!

Coming at things as a lesbian or bi woman definitely opens up non-maternal interpretations for women’s relationships (especially ones with an age difference like Janeway and Seven). But that’s just how their relationship always felt to me. Which isn’t right or wrong. It’s just what I saw in them. 

Of course, I also started watching Voyager right after becoming a mother. So it’s possible that influenced me.