Autism spectrum disorders

Mother's blood may carry the secret to one type of autism

Autism is a neurodevelopment condition affecting 1 in 44 children in the U.S. It has a wide range of characteristics with different intensities and causes. One type of autism is maternal autoantibody-related autism spectrum ...

Obstetrics & gynaecology

Study reveals genetic differences among fetal monocytes

A multidisciplinary team of Northwestern Medicine investigators has discovered striking differences in gene expression of monocytes—specialized immune cells—in the developing fetus, according to findings published in ...

Obstetrics & gynaecology

Emergency cesarean causes inflammatory response

Labor and natural childbirth cause stress on a mother's body but an emergency Cesarean is associated with even more inflammatory gene expression in the placenta, new South Australian research shows.

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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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