How Life Begins: The Science of Life in the Womb

Overview

With the advent of ultrasound technology and other imaging techniques, a window into the complex, sophisticated life of the fetus has been opened. This entertaining and informative guide takes readers on an amazing tour via the advancements of medical technology and interviews with leading researchers, month by month, as single cell develops into bright-eyed baby. 25 illustrations.

"...a tour of the womb and the chronology of the fetus."

...
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1996-02-06 Hardcover New Brand New! Excellent item! Dust cover has slight shelf wear.

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Overview

With the advent of ultrasound technology and other imaging techniques, a window into the complex, sophisticated life of the fetus has been opened. This entertaining and informative guide takes readers on an amazing tour via the advancements of medical technology and interviews with leading researchers, month by month, as single cell develops into bright-eyed baby. 25 illustrations.

"...a tour of the womb and the chronology of the fetus."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The human infant can hear, feel and see before it leaves the womb, and the fetus even seems to have a sense of taste. Around day 26 after conception, the embryo initiates dramatic progress in the process of forming a face. By the end of the third month, the fetus is moving vigorously, even though the mother can't feel the movement. In a crystal-clear synthesis emphasizing the last two decades of research, this captivating primer reenacts an incredible journey we all have taken but forgotten-the first nine months of life inside the womb. Vaughan, a biomedical editor at Cambridge University Press, explains how the fetus ``practically commandeers the mother's body,'' tailoring her responses to promote energy storage and manipulating her immune system to override the forces that the body usually launches against invaders. Along the way he discusses genetic influences on personality, sudden infant death syndrome, causes of infertility, current fertilization techniques and the newborn's adjustment to the outer world. An informative guide for expectant parents and the scientifically curious. Illustrations. (Feb.)
William Beatty
Vaughan presents human growth and development in clear and attractive prose, describing what is known, pointing out the surprising amount that is still unknown, and effectively using analogies to clarify events and subject material. His practicality is evident from the beginning, when he cuts through the traditional reckoning of the age of embryo and fetus to put such measurements on a logical basis. Elsewhere, he asks why a mother does not expel fetus and placenta as foreign objects, then not only spells out what is known to answer this major question, but also shows how information gained from studies related to the question may help in controlling cancer. While describing the gradual growth of embryo and fetus, he tangentially pursues such related topics as the influence of genes beyond actual birth. Finally, one of the most interesting aspects of this engaging book is its attention to intrawomb practice of various procedures preparatory for the shock of birth.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812921038
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/6/1996
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 290
  • Product dimensions: 6.45 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: Birth 3
A Note on Timing 7
The First Month 11
1 Sex and the Single Cell 16
The Second Month 43
2 Who's Walking Whom? 46
The Third Month 73
3 From Blob to Babe 76
The Fourth Month 105
4 Gene Genies 108
The Fifth Month 133
5 The Thought Machine 135
The Sixth Month 159
6 Lizards, Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails 161
The Seventh Month 189
7 Awakenings 191
The Eighth Month 211
8 Undressed Rehearsal 213
The Ninth Month 239
9 Partum is Such Sweet Sorrow 241
Epilogue: Life After Birth 256
Index 281
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