Maternal Health

Smoking 'harms livers of unborn babies'

Scientists found that the cocktail of chemicals in cigarettes is particularly harmful to developing liver cells.

They developed a method of studying the effects of maternal smoking on liver tissue using embryonic stem cells.

The team, led by the University of Edinburgh, also discovered the cigarette chemicals affect male and female foetuses differently.

During their research they used pluripotent stem cells - cells which have the ability to transform into other cell types - to build foetal liver tissue.