Music for babies

Me, working, listening to Queen and playing with my daughter

It is well known that music can be a therapeutic tool in any moment of our life. What is really interesting is that music has an impact also on the development of fetuses.

Numerous papers dealing with the impact of listening to music during the prenatal period have been published in the last decade. Fetuses develop all their senses (with the exception of the sight) during gestation. Hearing is the first sense to develop, around the 20th week of pregnancy. They react to sounds and vocal stimuli.

Fetuses start moving few seconds after hearing loud sounds. They can hear their mother’s heartbeat, blood circulation, voice and can perceive the vibration of their mother’s auditory cortex and intestines!

Studies show that fetuses have different reactions to different types of music. Pregnant women listening to Ravel, Strauss or Mozart show lower blood pressure and their fetuses have an increased number of movements.

Music compilations listened by a woman while pregnant are memorized by the fetus. Those compilations are the ones which induce the most powerful reactions when the baby is born.

I read some of these papers when I was pregnant and I decided to make my daughter a rock lover!

I dislike lullabies (I still do not sing them to my daughter), but I love rock music. Queen is definitely my favorite group. I used to (well, actually I still do) listen to them while working, so my fetus daughter start listening to good old music when she was just a bunch of cells. I start reading papers regarding music and pregnancy when I was around the 13th-14th week. I spoke to my partner and we decided to run our little experiment. During the whole pregnancy I continue listening to my favorite music. Besides Queen, we listened to U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, AC/DC, Deep Purple and Guns ‘N Roses.

Well, it worked perfectly. Now, when my daughter is restless we just start listening to the Queen and she immediately calms down.

Her all time favorites are “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Bicycle Race”. I am so proud of her superb music taste!

References:

Bieńkowska et al., “Model of Attenuation of Sound Stimuli in Prenatal Music Therapy”, (2016), https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-39796-2_35

Dombrowska-pali et al., “Music therapy – an alternative form supporting the quality of mother and baby care”, (2018), https://doi.org/10.5114/polp.2018.77999

Teie, “A Comparative Analysis of the Universal Elements of Music and the Fetal Environment”, (2016), https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01158

Women in STEM: dr. Ariana

dr. Ariana Baptista

Seventh interview with amazing women in STEM I met thanks to Instagram and Twitter.

Today we host dr. Ariana, a medical doctor, mother of a 5-month-old boy.

Hi regenmedica! First of all would you like to tell us something about you?


Hi Martina, I’m Ariana Baptista, a medical doctor from Venezuela. I’m 32 years old. I do love research so I did a M.Sc. in Regenerative Medicine from Queen Mary University in London, UK. 


When did you start your Instagram account? How did you get the idea?

After finishing my M.Sc. I decided to create my IG account due to the misinformation about stem cells and regenerative medicine in Spanish, my mother tongue language. I want to explain in a straight forward manner to everyone what stem cells are and how they works.


Can you tell us something about how you balance work and private life?

My husband takes parenthood seriously, he takes care our baby while I’m at the lab. He works from home, so it’s easier to stay with our 5-month baby boy. Also, I can manage my time at work, it’s quite flexible. Plus, I’m living a few blocks from the IVF clinic which is absolutely great. These things helped me a lot how to balance my life as a mum and a doctor in a lab. It’s exhausting sometimes but I’ve got time to do both things and that’s great.


During your university studies how many women were in course? Why in your opinion?

In my bachelor’s were many women, in my M.Sc. just a half. 


Have you ever felt harassed or being kept apart as a scholar because you are a woman?

Never. I had a great lab supervisor during my M.Sc. and he always encouraged me to pursue a career in academia, even though the gap between men and women is massive.

How did you became passionate about science? 

Wow, I think since I was a little girl. I did medicine first, but the last year of med school I’d realised that science is exciting. From that I changed my career path. It was one of the best decisions of my life to do the M.Sc. rather than a medical residency.

Would you like to talk briefly about your job?

Currently I’m the director of the human reproduction lab of an IVF clinic. Also, I’m the genetic counselor from the clinic.

Thank you so much for your time. Lastly, can you give any advice to girls interested in stem?

Just listen to yourself. If you want something, do it. Read, do your research. You’re enough to be a scientist or doctor.

Scientists are funny

The typical image of a scientist, is that of a man, with white hair, glasses, in a lab coat, maybe a bit strange and definitely booooooring.

Last month a paper regarding graphene was published by Wang and collaborators. It went viral in the science community because of its title “Will any crap we put into graphene increase its electrocatalytic effect?”.

The day I read this title had been particularly rough on me, both on the personal and on the professional side.

So, I decided to look for other peculiar papers’ titles and here is what I found.

Something for “Harry Potter” fans:

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Do you feel more like Snow White or the Evil Queen?

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“Lord of the Rings” fans, I am looking at you right now:

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Do you believe that “Snakes on a plane” was the best film of Samuel L. Jackson? This is for you!

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Is this article talking about you?

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If you like to go deep into things, these two are for you:

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Do you solemnly swear to be loyal to science?

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Some word puns for you:

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Christian Grey fans read this:

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Let’s talk about something different from the Coronavirus flu:

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I would like to conclude with some Bob Dylan’s citations:

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Have you ever found any other funny titles of papers you read? Let me know in the comments!

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