How do developing spinal cords choose 'heads' or 'tails'?

The progression from a round ball of cells to an embryo with a head and a tail is one of the most critical steps in an organism's development. But just how cells first start organizing themselves with directionality along ...

Tracking RNA through space and time

The "miracle of life" is most obvious at the very beginning: When the fertilized egg cell divides by means of furrows into blastomeres, envelops itself in an amniotic sac, and unfolds to form germ layers. When the blastomeres ...

Scientists identify essential factors for limb formation

Scientists at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC), working in partnership with researchers at the Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) in Canada, have identified Meis transcription ...

New findings to boost IVF success rates

In vitro fertilization fulfills the wishes of half a million parents each year, yet the fertility treatment leaves plenty of room for improvement. A majority of potential embryos are ruled out for implantation, flagged by ...

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Embryo

An embryo (irregularly from Greek: ἔμβρυον, plural ἔμβρυα, lit. "that which grows," from en- "in" + bryein "to swell, be full"; the proper Latinate form would be embryum) is a multicellular diploid eukaryote in its earliest stage of development, from the time of first cell division until birth, hatching, or germination. In humans, it is called an embryo until about eight weeks after fertilization (i.e. ten weeks LMP), and from then it is instead called a fetus.

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