Oh Yeah, Developmental Biology!

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Posts tagged with "pregnancy"

Sep 5
tr-i-life:

Human Development Timeline

tr-i-life:

Human Development Timeline

bpod-mrc:

Uterine Oomph
Fluid surrounding babies in the womb could be a valuable source of stem cells for medical treatment. Pregnant women often undergo a medical procedure known as amniocentesis (pictured) during the first trimester to test for genetic disorders such as Downs Syndrome. Stem cells from the fluid collected in this way have been analysed by researchers keen to find an alternative to using embryos. The trick is to source cells that retain the ability to develop into any adult cell type. Previous research has shown that adult stem cells can be reprogrammed to behave like their embryonic counterparts, but only by introducing extra genes into their DNA. Grown on a gelatinous protein mixture in the lab, the stem cells from pregnant donors were chemically reprogrammed into an immature, flexible state very like that of those from the embryo. Bone, liver and nerve cells were all successfully grown from the samples.
Written by Brona McVittie
—

Copyright Science Photo Library
Any re-use of this image must be authorised by Science Photo Library
Research published in Molecular Therapy

bpod-mrc:

Uterine Oomph

Fluid surrounding babies in the womb could be a valuable source of stem cells for medical treatment. Pregnant women often undergo a medical procedure known as amniocentesis (pictured) during the first trimester to test for genetic disorders such as Downs Syndrome. Stem cells from the fluid collected in this way have been analysed by researchers keen to find an alternative to using embryos. The trick is to source cells that retain the ability to develop into any adult cell type. Previous research has shown that adult stem cells can be reprogrammed to behave like their embryonic counterparts, but only by introducing extra genes into their DNA. Grown on a gelatinous protein mixture in the lab, the stem cells from pregnant donors were chemically reprogrammed into an immature, flexible state very like that of those from the embryo. Bone, liver and nerve cells were all successfully grown from the samples.

Written by Brona McVittie

First non-hormonal male 'pill' prevents pregnancy

More than 100 million women worldwide use a contraceptive pill. Now men are a step closer to protecting themselves in a similar way with the development of the first ever drug to offer non-hormonal and reversible male birth control. And as an added bonus, it doesn’t seem to affect sex drive either – at least in mice.

A non-hormonal option for male contraception is preferable to hormonal treatments currently in clinical trials, because the types of hormones that make men infertile have more severe side effects than those used in the female pill. The hormones can affect bone formation and liver abnormalities.

"Non-hormonal targets are urgently needed," says James Bradner, a physician at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. Now, he and his colleagues have developed a drug called JQ1, which inhibits a testes-specific protein called BRDT that is essential for fertility.

All sperm cells develop from germ cells. At an early stage of this process, BRDT enters the nucleus and switches on relevant parts of the genome that instruct the cell to mature into a sperm cell. JQ1 binds to BRDT at exactly the same part of the protein that sticks to the genome, preventing it from giving instructions to the cell. “It’s like removing the Post-it note that reminds the cell to turn into a sperm cell,” says Bradner.

When mice were administered daily injections of two different doses of JQ1 over a three- or six-week period, they saw at least a 90 per cent decrease in sperm count and at least a 75 per cent decrease in sperm cell motility. The decrease in the sperm count was so substantial at the higher dose that all of the mice became infertile. Importantly, though, within a month or two of stopping the drug treatment, mouse fertility was completely restored.

Read more

The Visible Embryo

The Visible Embryo is a visual guide through fetal development from fertilization through pregnancy to birth. As the most profound physiologic changes occur in the “first trimester” of pregnancy, these Carnegie stages are given prominence on the birth spiral.

The shape and location of embryonic interal structures and how they relate and are connected to each other is essential to understanding human development. Medical professionals create a mental picture of this process in order to determine how well the fetus is progressing. It is also the basis of knowing how and when errors in development occur and if a possibility exists for a corrective intervention.

It is equally important for expectant parents to understand the relationship of these internal structures and how their infant develops through pregnancy.

(Source: sdbonline.org)

pregnancysimplified:

embryo.
(IVF Article)

pregnancysimplified:

embryo.

(IVF Article)

laboratoryequipment:

Scientists See Critical Aspects of Embryonic DevelopmentA novel approach in the study of the development of mammalian embryos was reported in the journal Nature Communications. The research, from the laboratory of Prof. Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz of the Univ. of Cambridge, enables scientists to view critical aspects of embryonic development which was previously unobservable.Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-Scientists-See-Critical-Aspects-of-Embryonic-Development-021512.aspx

laboratoryequipment:

Scientists See Critical Aspects of Embryonic Development

A novel approach in the study of the development of mammalian embryos was reported in the journal Nature Communications. The research, from the laboratory of Prof. Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz of the Univ. of Cambridge, enables scientists to view critical aspects of embryonic development which was previously unobservable.

Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-Scientists-See-Critical-Aspects-of-Embryonic-Development-021512.aspx

biomedicalephemera:

Saggittal cross section of normal human embryo 35 mm long
This would be at approximately the very end of the first trimester, and the end of the stage of pregnancy where the gestating being is called an embryo. 
At this point of pregnancy, the tail of the embryo has disappeared. The intestines have just migrated from the umbilical cord into the embryo, the retina is fully pigmented (though the eyes are still closed), the brain has all its basic structures and will begin to rapidly increase in mass in a week or two, and the face is beginning to fuse together and look human.
A Study of the Causes Underlying the Origin of Human Monsters. Franklin P. Mall, 1908.

biomedicalephemera:

Saggittal cross section of normal human embryo 35 mm long

This would be at approximately the very end of the first trimester, and the end of the stage of pregnancy where the gestating being is called an embryo. 

At this point of pregnancy, the tail of the embryo has disappeared. The intestines have just migrated from the umbilical cord into the embryo, the retina is fully pigmented (though the eyes are still closed), the brain has all its basic structures and will begin to rapidly increase in mass in a week or two, and the face is beginning to fuse together and look human.

A Study of the Causes Underlying the Origin of Human Monsters. Franklin P. Mall, 1908.

biomedicalephemera:

8 mm long and 10 mm long embryos with spina bifida
To get an idea how long that is, a pinhead is appx 1 mm across. One of those ubiquitous tiny red ants is 5 mm long, on average. 
You can see here that the neural tube is created VERY early on pregnancy, which is why folic acid (critical to the cell signaling which closes the neural groove) is recommended for all women of childbearing age - this stage of pregnancy is often before the woman even knows she’s pregnant, and if the pregnancy is carried to term, the lack of a single vitamin can lead to lifelong ramifications for the offspring.
For those who are into embryology/developmental biology: You can see the dorsal differences between Carnegie stages 15 and 16 if you look at these two embryos. The caudal neural pore has not yet attempted to close at all in the smaller of the two, and there are also only 3 pharyngeal arches clearly visible. In the larger of the embryos, a telling factor of which stage it’s in is that you can clearly differentiate the thigh, leg, and foot parts of the hind limb buds. 
A Study of the Causes Underlying the Origin of Human Monsters. Franklin P. Mall, 1908.

biomedicalephemera:

8 mm long and 10 mm long embryos with spina bifida

To get an idea how long that is, a pinhead is appx 1 mm across. One of those ubiquitous tiny red ants is 5 mm long, on average. 

You can see here that the neural tube is created VERY early on pregnancy, which is why folic acid (critical to the cell signaling which closes the neural groove) is recommended for all women of childbearing age - this stage of pregnancy is often before the woman even knows she’s pregnant, and if the pregnancy is carried to term, the lack of a single vitamin can lead to lifelong ramifications for the offspring.

For those who are into embryology/developmental biology: You can see the dorsal differences between Carnegie stages 15 and 16 if you look at these two embryos. The caudal neural pore has not yet attempted to close at all in the smaller of the two, and there are also only 3 pharyngeal arches clearly visible. In the larger of the embryos, a telling factor of which stage it’s in is that you can clearly differentiate the thigh, leg, and foot parts of the hind limb buds. 

A Study of the Causes Underlying the Origin of Human Monsters. Franklin P. Mall, 1908.

mothernaturenetwork:

Why some countries have more twinsMore than 18 twins per 1,000 births were seen in Central Africa, with the country of Benin having especially high rates of twins.

mothernaturenetwork:

Why some countries have more twins
More than 18 twins per 1,000 births were seen in Central Africa, with the country of Benin having especially high rates of twins.

Aug 3

Eating disorders delay pregnancy

Women with a history of eating disorders may struggle to fall pregnant quickly, research suggests.

They are also more than twice as likely to need fertility treatment, a study of more than 11,000 UK mothers has found.

Pregnancy rates after six months were lower in women with anorexia or bulimia, but by a year they were the same as the general population.