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New findings may help prevent pregnancy complications

Nati Harnik / AP

A new study published Wednesday may help scientists develop preventative measures against gestational diabetes, recurrent spontaneous miscarriage, and other pregnancy complications.

What they found: The human immune system matures in utero as early as the second trimester but has a tweak — a greater amount of protein arginase-2 — which may allow for greater immune tolerance, according to the scientists behind the semi-controversial study.

Why the findings matter: The knowledge could help guide the timing of intra-uterine stem cell transplants or other gene therapies that could save the life of a fetus or help prevent immune-related issues like gestational diabetes and miscarriages, per an article in Nature. The knowledge could also be applied to helping remedy some adult afflictions, like avoiding the rejection of organ transplants.