Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938


By Stephen Luntz

Cannabis risk in pregnancy, IVF risks for multiple embryos, early birth better for twins and more.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Previous Cannabis a Pregnancy Risk

Consumption of marijuana doubles the chance of premature birth, Prof Gus Dekker of the University of Adelaide has reported in PLoS ONE. But it doesn’t have to be taken during pregnancy to have an effect.

A study of 3000 Adelaide and Auckland mothers found that the highest risk factor for spontaneous pre-term birth was a strong family history of low birth weight babies. This increased the risk for women in the sample by a factor of almost six.

However, cannabis use prior to pregnancy also doubled the risk, closely followed by having a mother with a history of pre-eclampsia or diabetes. A history of vaginal bleeds was also a risk factor.

Premature rupture of membranes leading to birth was associated with different risk factors, including mild hypertension, family history, low body mass and receiving hormonal fertility treatment.

Crocodile Family Tree

A study of crocodile genetics has seen 74 undergraduate Veterinary Science students from the University of Sydney become published authors of a paper in the Australian Journal of Zoology.

Over 5 years, groups of students contributed 1875 hours of fieldwork collecting genetic material from crocodiles in nine river basins in the Northern Territory.

“The result of the students’ accumulated research is a better understanding of the...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.