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University of Iowa News Release


April 3, 2007

Talk On Premature Births To Be Held April 12

Efforts to detect and prevent premature births will be the topic of a free, public talk from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 12, on the Mezzanine Floor of the Cottage Bakery and Café, 14 S. Linn St. in Iowa City.

Sarah England, professor in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, will present "The Timing of Labor; a Scientist's Perspective."

England says that while pre-term births account for approximately 12 percent of all deliveries, they are associated with about 85 percent of neonatal deaths and morbidity, as well as an estimated $18 billion in annual care costs. Because drugs currently used to stop pre-term contractions have significant fetal and maternal side effects, other therapies are being explored.

England plans to discuss work being conducted in her laboratory to study proteins involved in uterine contractions and having potential therapeutic targets due to their ability to stop the contractions. The goal of her research is to aid in the development of pharmacological agents that could potentially be administered to women prior to labor contractions, allowing for the progression of the pregnancy to full term.

The talk is the third to be presented by Café Scientifique of Iowa City during the spring 2007 semester. Sessions are held on the second Thursday of the month from September to May. Café Scientifique of Iowa City is a meeting forum where the public is invited to explore and debate the latest ideas in science, mathematics, medicine and technology. The Web site for Café Scientifique is located at:

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 301, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,