Bad_Vibrations - Science News Online Week of Aug 12 2006...

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Science News Online Week of Aug. 12, 2006; Vol. 170, No. 7 Bad Vibrations? Ultrasound disturbs mouse brains Christen Brownlee Prolonged and frequent use of fetal ultrasound might lead to abnormal brain development, a study in mice suggests. The finding sounds a cautionary note for pregnant women getting the commonplace procedure. In that technique, an ultrasound probe sends high-frequency sound waves into the abdomen of a pregnant woman. The waves bounce back to detectors, creating images of the fetus. Doctors use the pictures to check for birth defects and to assess a fetus' size and movements. Many women also undergo ultrasounds to create collections of early baby pictures. Ultrasound has generally been regarded as safe. However, a few studies have suggested that it might cause neurological changes, such as delayed speech or an increase in left-handedness. Researchers hadn't studied how the number or duration of ultrasound procedures affects neurons growing in the fetal brain, says neuroscientist Pasko Rakic of Yale University. Neurons are created in discrete places within the brain as it develops, and they then travel to the brain's outer layers. Rakic and his colleagues study this process, which is known as neural migration. To determine whether ultrasound affects neural migration, the team worked with mice at a late point in pregnancy, when new fetal neurons have to migrate a long distance to reach the brain's outer layers. The researchers injected the animals with a chemical that marks newborn neurons and then applied ultrasound to the
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This note was uploaded on 06/08/2011 for the course BIO 1 taught by Professor Dunno during the Winter '10 term at Foothill College.

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Bad_Vibrations - Science News Online Week of Aug 12 2006...

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