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- Environment - Jul 26 Male frogs have sex on land to keep competitors away
- Environment - Jul 26 Shows tree climbers’ exploration of Madagascar
- Life Sciences - Jul 26 Opinion: Can genes really predict how well you ll do academically?
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- Medicine - Jul 25 Scientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcoma
- Medicine - Jul 25 Scientists exploit malaria’s Achilles’ heel<»
- Life Sciences - Jul 22 UCLA Duchenne muscular dystrophy research receives grant from California’s stem cell agency
- Life Sciences - Jul 22 How humans and wild birds collaborate to get precious resources of honey and wax
- Life Sciences - Jul 22 Cerebrospinal fluid signals control the behavior of stem cells in the brain
- Life Sciences - Jul 21 Scientists program cells to remember and respond to series of stimuli
- Life Sciences - Jul 21 Free radicals contribute to aging
- Life Sciences - Jul 21 An engineered protein can disrupt tumor- promoting ’messages’ in human cells
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- Medicine - Jul 21 European- wide study led by Twycross Zoo to examine the prevalence of heart disease in apes in human care
Under the Microscope #3 – mouse embryo
In this video, we see a mouse embryo developing. Erica Watson tells us that studying this process helps us better understand human pregnancy.
We can get valuable information from a mouse model about how an embryo and its placenta develop over time."
Under the Microscope is a collection of videos that show glimpses of the natural and man-made world in stunning close-up. They will be released every Monday and Thursday for the next couple of months and you can see them here: http://bit.ly/A6bwCE
“The development of a fetus is elegant yet complex. Amazingly, most fetuses undergo a highly orchestrated sequence of events during development to produce a healthy baby. This suggests that a baby can adapt to changes in the womb, such as to the availability of nutrients from its mother. But how do these environmental changes affect the baby’s health in later life? And is it possible that these adverse changes will alter the development of generations to follow? In other words, does the environment that a baby develops in affect its grandchildren’s growth and development?
Our research aims to understand these questions using a mouse model with a genetic mutation that prevents the normal breakdown folic acid (a vitamin). This mutation alters the metabolism of a mouse and causes long-lasting effects on the generations to come. Our hope is to find out how environmental changes caused by a genetic mutation are perpetuated into subsequent generations, even when these generations do not carry the mutation.
Since humans and mice use similar genes during development, we can get valuable information from a mouse model about how an embryo and its placenta develop over time. Compared to a human pregnancy that lasts nine months, a mouse fetus develops quickly, taking only three weeks to get from a one-cell embryo to a fully-grown mouse pup.
Using a light microscope, we generated this image showing the growth and development of a mouse embryo during the second week of pregnancy. The first embryo is nine days old and has few recognizable features whereas the last embryos is fourteen days old and more closely resembles a mouse pup as birth. Understanding the progression of normal developmental processes will ultimately help us explain the events that cause fetal development to go awry resulting in miscarriage or stillbirth.”
The smallest fetus in the video is the thickness of a penny and the largest one is the size of a blueberry.
School of Biological Sciences:
Music by Peter Nickalls:
Find more Cambridge research here:
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