Category Archives: Genetics & Molecular biology

Death in HIV+ immunosuppressed adults: Thorough screening is correspondent to defensive treatment

The STATIS trial has compared two pioneering techniques premeditated to lower mortality in severely immunosuppressed HIV-infected adults. Facilitated by two Scientist, the test is being conducted in Cambodia, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda, and Vietnam.

3 (1)In spite of improved access to HIV screening and antiretroviral treatment, a lot of HIV-infected people still go through healthcare systems very late, by which stage severe immunosuppression complicates managing. Death is high in these patients, particularly because of tuberculosis, the primary cause of mortality in the HIV-infected population. Patients who instigate antiretroviral therapy late are now offered simple tuberculosis screening.

The STATIS assessment has premeditated the effects of intensive, efficient, and incessant screening for tuberculosis compared with the systematic use of antituberculosis treatment on death in the patients.

The investigation analyzed statistics from 1047 adult patients who had under no circumstances received antiretroviral therapy and whose CD4+ cell count was down (<100/mm3) at incorporation. At the commencement of antiretroviral therapy, these patients were randomized between two arms. In the first arm, the patients experienced tuberculosis screening comprising an Xpert MTB/RIF examination and a urine lipoarabinomannan measure. Only patients who showed positive were then given antituberculosis drugs. The tests could be repeated all through follow-up, depending on indications. In the second arm, every single patient received systematic antituberculosis therapy. The triumph rates of these two techniques, as a part of the number of deaths or of intrusive bacterial diseases during the initial 24 weeks of follow-up, were elevated than that earlier reported in the literature for basic tuberculosis screening. There was no considerable difference between the two strategies.

ANRS STATIS, as a result, showed that systematic instigation of antituberculosis cure is no greater than severe tuberculosis screening in diminishing mortality in severely immunosuppressed HIV-infected adults while they enter the healthcare system. The investigation is still progressing and the latest examinations will be performed for all patients after 48 weeks of follow-up. The two techniques compared in this investigation are exceptionally suited to resource-limited settings.

Optimizing Factors to Reduce Quantitative Evaluation Errors in NMR

1bThe integration of NMR spectra is capable of being carried out with high accuracy, but this is only feasible if several error sources are appropriately handled. Accuracy of ±5% can be achieved easily on a modern spectrometer, given that relaxation issues are adequately handled. Several factors need to be kept in mind and optimized to achieve errors of less than 1%.

Signal to Noise

The spectrum needs to have sufficient signal to noise ratio to support the degree of accuracy required for the experiment. This means using more scans, if required.

Saturation Effects

NMR spectroscopy is thought of as unique among spectroscopic methods because the relaxation processes are relatively slow (on the order of seconds or tenths of seconds), in comparison to mass spectroscopy. In other words, as soon as the spectrometer has disturbed the equilibrium population of nuclei via pulsing at the resonance frequency, they come back to their original populations in 0.1 to 10s of seconds.

Typically, the T1 (spin-lattice relaxation time1) is measured to calculate a suitable relaxation delay. The spectra can become saturated if the pulse angle and repetition rates are very high. Integrations become less accurate because the relaxation rates of different protons in the sample are not the same. The effects of saturation are primarily severe for small molecules in mobile solvents because these typically have the longest T1 relaxation times.

To attain trustworthy integrations, the NMR spectrum has to be achieved in a way that avoids saturation. It is impossible to decide if a spectrum was operated correctly just by inspection, as it relies on the operator to take suitable precautions, such as putting in a 5-10 second relaxation delay between scans, if optimal integrations are required.

It is vital to recognize that integration errors as a result of saturation effects will depend on the relative relaxation rates of several protons in a molecule. Errors will be bigger when distinct kinds of protons are being evaluated, for instance aromatic CH to a methyl group, than when the protons are the same or similar (such as two methyl groups).1A

Line Shape Considerations

NMR signals in a perfectly tuned instrument are Lorenzian in shape, so the concentration covers some distance on both sides of the center of the peak. Integrations have to be carried out over an appropriately broad frequency range to catch enough of the peak for the favored level of accuracy.

Therefore, if the width of the peak at half height is 1 Hz, then an integration of ±2.3 Hz from the center of the peak is required to catch 90% of the area, ±5 Hz for 95%, ±11 Hz for 98%, and ±18 Hz for more than 99% of the area.

This means that carefully spaced peaks cannot be accurately combined via the standard method, but might need line-shape stimulations with a program like NUTS in order to measure relative peak areas accurately.

Digital Resolution

A peak has to be decided by an adequate number of points to attain an accurate integration. The errors produced are very small and can achieve 1% if a resonance with a width at half height of 0.5 Hz is sampled every 0.25 Hz.

Isotopic Satellites

All C-H signals have 13C satellites2 situated ±JC-H/2(usually 115-135 Hz, however, numbers above 250 Hz are known) from the center of the peak. Combined, these satellites constitute 1.1% of the area of the central peak (0.55% each). They need to be kept in mind if integration at the >99% level of accuracy is desired.

Bigger errors are presented if the satellites from an adjacent very strong peak fall under the signal being incorporated. The easiest technique to right this problem is by decoupling of 13C, which condenses the satellites into the central peak. A number of other elements have critical fractions of spin ½ nuclei at natural abundance, and these will also create satellites big enough to impede integrations. Most noteworthy are 117/119Sn, 29Si, and 77Se.

13C satellites have a positive side: they can be employed as internal standards to quantify small amounts of contaminants or isomers, because their size relative to the central peak is accurately identified.

Spinning Sidebands

Spinning sidebands can be seen at ± the spinning speed in Hz in spectra conducted on weakly tuned spectrometers and/or with samples in low-quality tubes. They absorb intensity coming from the central peak. SSBs are not often significant on modern spectrometers.

Baseline Slant and Curvature

Under particular circumstances, spectra can show substantial distortions of the baseline, which can obstruct the procurement of high-quality integrations. Conventional NMR work-up programs, like NUTS, have procedures for baseline adjustments.

Role of epigenetics in evolution of memory and learning in reference of Songbird’s

Baltimore OrioleA well-known songbird, the great tit, has discovered its genetic code, providing researchers new insight into how species adapt to an ever-changing planet. Their initial findings recommend that epigenetics — what’s on instead of what’s within the gene — might play a key role within the evolution of memory and learning. And that is not simply true for birds. An international research team led by The Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) and Wageningen University can publish these findings in Nature Communications. “People in our field are expecting this for many years,” explain researchers Kees van Oers and Veronika Laine from The Netherlands Institute of Ecology. The reference genome of their favorite model species, the great tit, is “a powerful tool case that each one ecologist and evolutionary biologists should know about.” Coming from one Dutch bird, the genetic code of the assembled reference genome can facilitate to reveal the genetic basis of phenotypic evolution. This can be essential for understanding how wild species adapt to our ever-changing planet.

In addition to looking at the genome, the research team has conjointly determined the so-called transcriptome and methylome. The latter belongs to the sector of epigenetics: the study of what you’ll be able to inherit not in but ‘on’ your genes. Specific DNA sequences within the genome may be ‘methylated': methyl groups are added to them, modifying how the genes perform. What that research has discovered are so-called conserved patterns of methylation in those same regions, present not only in birds however additionally in humans and different mammals. It’s proof of a correlation between epigenetic processes like methylation and the rate of molecular evolution: “the more methylation, the more evolution. And so the great tit has another time proved that its role as a model species during a kind of biological research fields for over sixty years is by no means coincidental.

Epigenetic Changes Due to Aging May Lead to Cancer

Throughout our lives, all cells in our bodies experience a normal life cycle of growth, maturity, and death. During this time, our cells normally experience damage to DNA by normal functions of the metabolism, or exposure to certain environmental factors like UV light. Ordinarily, our body is able to repair the damage done to the DNA in order to restore healthy cell function. The older we get, the more DNA damage we experience, and if damaged DNA is unable to be repaired, the cells become more susceptible to continued, erratic cell division, which often results in cancer. The cells of the body undergo a general wearing out the process known as cell senescence, in which the cell ceases to replicate and is programmed for death. Senescence is a healthy, highly regulated process, and is crucial in the protection against tumor growth.


It was previously considered by scientists that cancer development arises from rogue damaged cells that escape the natural cell death process and continue on to divide and grow. But scientists discovered that epigenetics could play a large role in how normal cells can develop into tumor-promoting cells.

“Senescence is a very well-known, normal aging process that is actually an antitumor mechanism. It occurs when cells perceive an excess of DNA damage, when cells undergo too many cell divisions or when they experience cancer development-related stress. They focused their attention on DNA methylation patterns in the fibroblasts of human foreskin samples how it can disrupt normal cellular senescence, allowing the progression of tumor growth. DNA methylation is the epigenetic process that silences gene expression by adding methyl groups to the DNA sequence, making it an appropriate target for studying the healthy function of the cellular death process.

The researchers also allowed the second group of healthy fibroblast cells to mature into natural cellular senescence and observed the DNA methylation patterns in both groups over time.

Human skin hindrance structure and capacity examined by cryo-EM and sub-atomic progression re-enactment

In vitro experimentation on biomolecular buildings has today achieved an abnormal state of complexity, exemplified by ongoing advancement in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) single molecule examination. Be that as it may, a more entire comprehension of biomolecular capacity may just be accomplished by additionally considering biomolecular edifices straightforwardly in their regular habitat inside the living cell or tissue. Natural cells, or tissues, are commonly swarmed multicomponent conditions lacking long-run arrange. This makes it hard to acquire unmistakable diffraction designs from inside cells. By and by, access to cell close local high-goals information is today conceivable through the cryo-EM of vitreous segments innovation.Microsoft Word - Graphical Abstract

Molecular structure and function of the skin’s permeability barrier

In the present examination the atomic structure and capacity of the human skin’s boundary structure were dissected. The skin was produced 360 million years back to enable the primary vertebrates to leave the seas and adjust to an existence ashore, by filling in as a hindrance shielding from lack of hydration.

The skin’s boundary limit is situated to an intercellular lipid structure implanting the cells of the shallow most layer of skin—the stratum corneum. The lipid structure comprises of stacked lipid layers made from ceramides (CER), cholesterol (CHOL) and free unsaturated fats (FFA) in a generally molar 1:1:1 proportion.md_ckant_overview

Analysis of cellular cryo-EM data using MD simulation and EM simulation
Atomistic MD recreation joined with EM re-enactment might be utilized to examine cell high goals cryo-EM information. Picture examination is then considering an iterative procedure where the MD demonstrate is changed in a stepwise manner until the point that ideal correspondence is accomplished between the first cryo-EM information got from the natural example and the mimicked EM information got from the MD display.

Molecular dynamics simulations
Through atomistic MD reenactments thermodynamically stable sub-atomic models might be built and equilibrated, ideally at long time scales. The connections between the particles of the model are depicted by biomolecular constrain fields partitioned into a fortified (communications portrayed utilizing securities, edges and torsion edges) and a non-reinforced part. MD recreations might be utilized to contemplate the atomic properties of a framework at a level difficult to reach by certifiable analyses. In any case, with a specific end goal to create significant data the recreated information must be approved against unique exploratory information. One method for doing this is by looking at reproduced EM pictures got from atomistic MD models with unique cryo-EM pictures gathered from organic cells or tissues.

Optimization of the skin barrier model
Beginning from the lipid hindrance show framework portrayed by the spread bilayer demonstrate, the framework was improved in an iterative way concerning I) the relative lipid piece (counting sphingosine-and phytosphingosine based ceramides, CHOL, FFA, acyl ceramides, cholesterol sulfate, and charged FFA), ii) the appropriation of CHOL over the layered structure, iii) the dispersion of lipid chain lengths and, iv) the quantity of water particles related with the lipid headgroups.

MD demonstrating joined with cryo-EM to break down the atomic structure and capacity of the human skin’s porousness boundary.

EM designs coordinating unique cryo-EM designs from skin amazingly nearly. Strikingly, the closer the individual MD model’s lipid structure was to that announced in human stratum corneum, the better was the match between the MD model’s EM recreation designs and the first cryo-EM designs. In addition, the nearest coordinating MD model’s figured water penetrability and thermotropic conduct were observed to be good with that of human skin.

The new information on the point by point structure and arrangement of the skin’s porousness hindrance, alongside the accessibility of MD recreation, will encourage thorough material science-based skin penetrability counts utilizing more practical models than have already been accessible. This may help anticipating properties of medications cooperating with the skin and upgrading them for percutaneous medication conveyance. Also, it might be utilized for skin danger appraisal. The impacts and components of skin porousness improving plans may likewise be explored and streamlined in silico.

Opportunities to Treat Childhood Dementia

Although dementia is regularly found in grown-ups, youth or immature dementia occurs. The restorative medications may be compelling against youth dementia. Youth dementia is an acquired issue that influences the digestion of the cerebrum. Introductory manifestations incorporate degeneration of sight taken after by epileptic seizures, visual impairment, deafness, dementia and early passing. The ailment is bothered by an incendiary reaction in the cerebrum. In creature models, the two medications fundamentally diminished obsessive changes in the mind and other clinical parameters, for example, the recurrence of muscle jerking. Additionally, they made the retina deteriorate substantially more gradually and less seriously

Childhood Dmentia

The measure of grown-up tyke conversational turns that youthful kids encounter is identified with the quality of white issue associations between two key dialect districts in the neuro, as spoken to by the shaded mind areas from two members. Albeit the two youngsters are a similar age and sexual orientation, and from the same financial foundation, they vary in the quantity of conversational turns experienced, which identifies with the quality of white issue availability in these pathways

Dementia Diagnosis

Finding a clinically achievable way: Fingolimod and Teriflunomide these medications were created to treat various sclerosis, the most incessant incendiary issue of the focal sensory system. Caring use would henceforth be conceivable yet controlled clinical investigations on patients would be the best quality level. Such examinations, in any case, are trying as far as financing and considering the uncommon idea of the Disease.

Scientists define key binding characteristics of protein associated with heart disease and breast cancer

Galectins can attach itself to the other proteins via the carbohydrates on their surfaces i.e. sugar-binding proteins. This impacts on a range of processes in the cell associated with several diseases, including heart disease and breast cancer.

Understanding the binding of galectins and differentiating between various sugars can help in guiding the design of new molecules that act as inhibitors, blocking the process and therefore limiting the development of certain diseases. However, researchers are trying to get the full picture and exact knowledge of the binding patterns involved in the interactions between different sugars. A knowledge of the hydrogen bond networks in the protein-sugar complexes plays an important part as it presents a better foundation in the efforts for designing a new efficient galectin inhibitor.image

The specialists in neutron and X-ray crystallography had discovered the hydrogen bonding networks in detail for the C-terminal carbohydrate recognition domain of galectin-3.

Till now, most of our understanding of these binding processes has been guesswork as determining the positions of hydrogen atoms is extremely difficult using X-rays due to the weak scattering of hydrogen with X-rays. Even with extremely high-resolution X-ray crystallography experiments, only about half of the most ordered hydrogen atoms can be observed. Neutron crystallography is one the ideal technique that reveal the positions of hydrogen atoms and the geometry of hydrogen bonds, as hydrogen atoms scatter neutrons with approximately the same magnitude as the other elements of a protein (i.e. carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur). Hence the positions of hydrogen atoms can be directly detected with neutrons rather than X-ray crystallography where it is being inferred from the positions of heavier atoms.

The recent study demonstrates that by using neutron crystallography the positions of the hydrogen atoms and the hydrogen bonding networks can be revealed which provides a better understanding of the binding interactions involved. In addition, by determining the neutron structure of the sugar-free form of galectin-3C (apo galectin-3C) the positions and orientations of water molecules in the binding site before binding is also revealed. Hence the comparison of the apo- and sugar-bound structures enables us to observe how the interactions changes upon binding and help us to improve our understanding of the role water played in the binding process.

Vitamin D Adjusts Epigenetic Marks That Could Hinder a Baby’s Health

Epigenetics 2 updated with JPEG

Even though it’s common for expectant mothers to have low vitamin D levels, it’s essential to the health and proper development of the baby. A low amount of vitamin D is associated with poor fetal growth, childhood obesity, bone density, and bone mineral content. Interestingly, key functions of the placenta – like transporting nutrients to the growing baby – are controlled by the expression of genes, which is mediated by vitamin D. Researchers have now discovered that this vitamin might epigenetically influence the functioning of the placenta via DNA methylation. The short-term exposure to vitamin D made any change to the epigenetic signature of placental villi, which are small, finger-like protrusions in the placenta that help to increase contact with maternal blood.

After obtaining ethical approval and informed consent, the researchers collected human placentas within 30 minutes of delivery. They cultured placental villi fragments in 25-hydroxyvitamin D for eight hours. Then, they measured genome-wide DNA methylation in order to identify sites that were altered due to the treatment of vitamin D. DNA methylation in humans, a well-known epigenetic mark, occurs at specific cytosine residues within CpG sites of DNA. CpG sites are particular regions of DNA where a cytosine and guanine nucleotide is separated by phosphate. Individuals can boost their vitamin D levels by eating foods that are rich in vitamin D and by getting a sensible amount of sun exposure.

Certain foods include salmon, herring, cod liver oil, mushrooms, egg yolks, and fortified drinks and food like milk, orange juice, and cereals. Supplements are also available, but receiving the proper dose is incredibly important, especially for expectant mothers. In light of these results, changes in certain DNA methylation pathways due to vitamin D could potentially affect the placenta in many ways. Although further research must be done to uncover the possible impact, this study poses an interesting look into the benefits of vitamin D and expands on the dangers of having too little of it. Although the risks children face resulting from vitamin D deficiency are well-documented, this study provides evidence for an underlying epigenetic mechanism that may be at play during pregnancy.

Scientists are combining advanced and traditional techniques to understand protein shapes and functions.


A protein’s shape plays a fundamental role in its function. Structural biology strives to construct models, ultimately at atomic resolution that represent snapshots of biological macromolecules and to describe the ways in which these molecules move.

The current dearth of protein structural information reflects the complexity of this challenge. Of the approximately 15,000 protein families, there are still about 5,200 with unknown structure outside the range of comparative modeling. Moreover, the behavior of the vast variety of proteins and their rapidly changing conformations depends on the experimental conditions, making it difficult to study them with a single technique. Over the last few decades, biologists analyzed protein structures using X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), or electron microscopy (cryo-EM) on samples at cryogenic temperatures. These are vital techniques, because the resolution achieved can be down to the nanometer, angstra, or atomic level. They provide essential information, but they capture the structure in a frozen state. To unravel protein function, scientists must explore protein dynamics, and that can be done with mass spectrometry (MS).

MS captures a sample’s mass-to-charge ratio, which can be used to identify and quantify proteins. By integrating results from different types of MS, scientists can determine protein structures and the mechanisms behind specific functions. This process often requires computational tools. The combination of data and models from different experiments reveals how a protein or protein complex works, including the role of binding factors, post-translational modifications, and interactions with other molecules such as drugs.Science Magazine

Such integrative approaches unveil the basic biology of proteins, and how they can be used. By combining MS with the right set of more conventional techniques, such as EM, researchers can make the most of a method’s strong points and offset its weaknesses. Despite advances in using and combining these techniques, scientists and engineers keep searching for improvements.

MS options

Even though MS can be combined with traditional techniques used in structural biology, one kind of MS is often not enough. Unfortunately, no MS technique does everything the best. For example, a protein or complex of proteins can be kept in the native state i.e. its typical shape under ordinary biological environmental conditions and analyzed with MS. The intact weighing of the mass of the protein complex lets us to find out which proteins and cofactors are part of it. This method keeps proteins in natural assemblies when delivering them to the detector. Another kind of MS technique, crosslinking MS (XL-MS), can be used to determine which parts of a protein or complex are in contact. A chemical glue is used to connect two lysine groups in close proximity. They might be in a single protein or proteins close to each other. Applying this technique to many lysine groups reveals structural constraints because we can see which parts of a protein or which proteins in a group are in proximity.

XL-MS can also be combined with cryo-EM. The combination of cryo-EM and crosslinking was used to study a molecular complex involved in transcribing DNA to RNA. The cryo-EM and XL-MS was also combined to explore the structures involved in splicing RNA.

Scientists can also study the structure of macromolecules with hydrogen-deuterium exchange MS (HDX-MS). Here, the sample is dissolved in heavy water, D2O. All the amide hydrogen on the protein’s surface starts to get exchanged for deuterium. Hydrogens that are less accessible, buried somewhere inside the protein structure are exchanged substantially slower, and this can tell which parts of the protein are outside, and which are inside.

Although scientists developed HDX-MS several decades ago, it could only be used on one small protein at a time. Now, scientists can apply HDX-MS to whole viruses, because of several advances in MS and data processing.

Ups and downs of MS

Although today’s scientists can select from a range of MS techniques, that doesn’t make structural analysis easy. For one thing, exploring protein structure with MS requires upstream processing, including sample preparation and some form of separation, like liquid chromatography (LC) or capillary electrophoresis. The MS platform also needs to provide high sensitivity. In some samples, scientists search for extremely rare components, such as crosslinked peptides. There we need Nano-LC to separate all the peptides, followed by fast and sensitive MS.

Despite some of the challenges of applying MS to protein structure determination, this technology comes with many strengths, such as identifying small binding proteins and protein post-translational modifications; quantifying the heterogeneity of a sample; determining the ratio of the subunits in a protein complex and how the ratio changes over time or under different conditions; and tracking changes in protein conformations.

Advances in MS technology, both in hardware and software have turned it into a tool for probing structural biology. Today’s mass spectrometry is so much faster and more sensitive and the software to analyze the data is faster, more flexible, and provides smarter algorithms for looking at different sets of large data.

Tag-team technologies

The conventional techniques used to analyze the structure of biological molecules, like X-ray crystallography, can reveal the locations of components down to the atom. To use this technique, however, the recombinant protein must be crystallized, which is extremely challenging with some proteins, particularly if they are membrane-bound. In those cases, researchers can use cryo-EM to prepare very high-resolution images. But cryo-EM gives us one image of one specific moment in time.

To study the dynamics of protein structures, today’s scientists turn to MS. Although the resolution is lower with MS, the ability to examine temporal changes increases substantially with this technology and combining the various forms of MS can tease out different aspects of a molecular structure. So, X-ray crystallography, NMR, or cryo-EM can be combined with one or more forms of MS such that each collects information on some aspect of a protein’s structure.

Further on down the road

Currently, scientists must cobble together various methods and techniques, often manually integrating the results to generate the best data. As those steps turn into a more cohesive workflow, integrative structural biology will be applied to an even wider range of questions, including novel functions of structures, protein–protein interactions, therapeutic targets, and more. Along the way, this field will uncover new knowledge about how biological systems work, and how they fail. The latter will help clinical researchers understand, diagnose, and treat diseases. However, doing that depends on combining areas of expertise from protein biophysics to drug discovery and beyond with the right collection of tools for probing and analyzing complicated biological structures, all on a very fine scale. Only then will we have a complete understanding of the very specific ways that a protein’s shape determines its function.

Breastfeeding has been numerous health benefits and reduced disease risk for the child


Many people believe that breastfeeding is the best gift a mother can offer to her child. It has lots of benefits, not only because breast milk contains the right amount of nutrients, but also because it’s packed with lots of antibodies and biologically active compounds that play a key role in boosting a baby’s immune system. We have already seen how maternal nutrition and lifestyle can shape the development and future health of a baby via epigenetic mechanisms. Among many postnatal factors that can contribute to determining lifelong health and disease through epigenetic mechanisms, infant feeding plays a key role, especially breastfeeding.

Breast milk has been shown to protect new-borns against many diseases commonly experienced during the first year of life and research has begun to make connections between the benefits of breastfeeding and epigenetics. In the spirit of World Breastfeeding Week, we’ll explore the health benefits of breastfeeding, the possible epigenetic effects, and its potential ability to protect against four major diseases. Human milk confers unique nutritional and non-nutritional benefits, enhancing a child’s growth and development, as well as overall health, not only in early life but also for the long-term, and offering prevention against some diseases.

Epigenetic Effects of Breastfeeding

With these health benefits in mind, researchers have been exploring the potential underlying epigenetic mechanisms that may be linked to the benefits of breastfeeding. An epigenetic mechanism is a biochemical alteration to the DNA that does not change the sequence but does influence gene expression. These epigenetic alterations are greatly influenced by the environment and are heritable. The major epigenetic processes are DNA methylation, histone modification, and chromatin remodeling. Whereas breastfeeding is restricted to the lactation period, continued consumption of cow’s milk results in persistent epigenetic up-regulation of genes critically involved in the development of diseases of civilization such as diabesity, neurodegeneration, and cancer. We hypothesize that the same miRNAs that epigenetically increase lactation, up-regulate gene expression of the milk recipient via milk-derived miRNAs.

Recently, studies have confirmed that breastfeeding reduces the risk of hospitalization for lower respiratory tract infections in the first year; it also lowers the incidence of otitis media – a group of inflammatory diseases of the middle ear – and ear or throat infections.