Special Issue | 15 August 2014Parenting

INTRODUCTIONScience's special section on parenting addresses how parents of any species pass on their DNA, but the biology of parenting and its impacts on the offspring don’t end at birth. Animal parenting behaviors, molecular legacy, and gestation and birthing processes are all highlighted in this issue. [Read the full introduction.]

From Science


Parenting from before conception

Parents can have non-genetic effects on their offspring reflecting their physiological state and/or environment.

Preterm labor: One syndrome, many causes

The recognition and treatment of premature birth must consider the various triggers.

Neural control of maternal and paternal behaviors

Sensory and neural circuits underlie affiliative and agonistic behavior of males and females.

The biology of mammalian parenting and its effects on social development

Mammalian parenting and the social development of offspring.

The evolution of flexible parenting

Parents must balance demands from offspring and environment.

Unsettled questions trail IVF’s success

Researchers are still struggling to understand the potential long-term effects of assisted reproduction.

Nature’s first functional food

Breast milk feeds helpful microbes, fights harmful ones, provides immunity, and jump-starts a newborn’s life.

The taste of things to come

Early postnatal, and even prenatal, experiences shape culinary tastes.

An experiment in zero parenting

A controversial study of Romanian orphans reveals long-term harm to the intellect.

Maternal mental illness

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