23 December 2015
Vol 7, Issue 319

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Helping Babies Stay in the Womb. This image shows a rat fetus similar to those used by Ying and coauthors to discover the role of TRPV4 in preterm labor. The authors studied human and rat tissue samples, as well as pregnant rats, and showed that a calcium channel called TRPV4 gradually builds up during pregnancy, increasing the likelihood of uterine contraction closer to term. They also demonstrated that a chemical inhibitor of TRPV4 can successfully prolong pregnancy in two rat models of preterm labor, suggesting that this could be a viable therapeutic approach. A related Focus by Smith discusses the findings. [CREDIT: SCIENCE PICTURES, LTD/SCIENCE SOURCE]