Scientists watch evolution in action

(PhysOrg.com) -- The yellow-bellied three-toed skink (Saiphos equalis) is one of only three reptiles known to have different methods of reproduction in different places. In the coastal areas of New South Wales (NSW), near ...

Solving the puzzle of Henry VIII

Blood group incompatibility between Henry VIII and his wives could have driven the Tudor king's reproductive woes, and a genetic condition related to his suspected blood group could also explain Henry's dramatic mid-life ...

Biologists link sexual selection and placenta formation

Sexual selection refers to species' selection for traits that are attractive to the opposite sex. This special type of natural selection enhances opportunities to mate, the tail of male peacocks being an iconic example.

Nanoparticles may cause DNA damage across a cellular barrier

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists have shown in the laboratory that metal nanoparticles damaged the DNA in cells on the other side of a cellular barrier. The research, by the University of Bristol, is published online this week ...

Rewinding development: A step forward for stem cell research

Scientists at the Danish Stem Cell Center, DanStem, at the University of Copenhagen have discovered that they can make embryonic stem cells regress to a stage of development where they are able to make placenta cells as well ...

Study shows placenta truly is a bacteria-free zone

A team of researchers at the University of Cambridge has found evidence indicating that the human placenta is a sterile environment. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes their study of the placental ...

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Placenta

The placenta is an organ unique to mammals that connects the developing fetus to the uterine wall. The placenta supplies the fetus with oxygen and food, and allows fetal waste to be disposed of via the maternal kidneys. The word placenta comes from the Latin for cake, from Greek plakóenta/plakoúnta, accusative of plakóeis/plakoús - πλακόεις, πλακούς, "flat, slab-like", referring to its round, flat appearance in humans. Protherial (egg-laying) and metatherial (marsupial) mammals produce a choriovitelline placenta that, while connected to the uterine wall, provides nutrients mainly derived from the egg sac. The placenta develops from the same sperm and egg cells that form the fetus, and functions as a fetomaternal organ with two components, the fetal part (Chorion frondosum), and the maternal part (Decidua basalis).

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