Biology - Race To Make A Baby

Biology - Race To Make A Baby

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  • Meeting the Egg
  • 23 chromosomes in an egg cell
  • 23 chromosomes in a sperm cel
  • 46 chromosomes in a human
  • Meeting the Egg
  • The Journey to the Womb
  • When an egg and sperm meet in the uterus they fuse and fertilize, making a zygote. The egg cell contains DNA from the mother, whilst the sperm from the father.
  • Growing in the womb
  • Egg cells have a large nucleus containing genetic information. They have a protective outer coat to make sure only one sperm gets through to fertilise the egg. The egg cells also have a food store in the cytoplasm for the developing embryo. The egg cells are stored in the ovaries. Each month during the menstrual cycle an egg is released.
  • Growing in the womb
  • Once the ovum is fertilised and has transitioned from being a zygote to a embryo, it then travels from and through the fallopian tube and into the uterus - a journey which takes about 3 to 5 days. The embryo must then break through its zona and then attach itself to the lining of the uterus in a process called implantation. The lining of the uterus is rich with blood and tissue, prepared for the coming of the fertilised ovum.
  • Time to be Born
  • The place where the embryo plants itself is inside the uterus in the lining, this process is more commonly know as implantation.The baby starts to grow, and the outer tissue grows into a placenta. The placenta is responsible for providing oxygen and nutrients, and removing waste substances from the embryo. It grows into the wall of the uterus and is joined to the foetus by the umbilical cord.
  • The zygote begins to divide, in a process called cleavage. A blastocyst is then formed and implanted in the uterus. Embryogenesis continues with the next stage of gastrulation, when the three germ layers of the embryo form in a process called histogenesis, and the processes of neurulation and organogenesis follow.
  • During pregnancy (the time when the baby is growing in mum's uterus), the placenta provides oxygen from the air that mum breathes, and nutrients from the food she eats. Meanwhile, the embryo continues dividing its cells to make billions of new cells to develop into a foetus.
  • After nine months, the baby is ready to be born. If a baby is breech (born the wrong way round), the mother will be forced to have a cesarean to take the baby out when it is ready.
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