Obstetrics & gynaecology

Simple twist of DNA determines fate of placenta

The development of the mammalian placenta depends upon an unusual twist that separates DNA's classic double helix into a single-stranded form, Yale researchers report July 15 in the journal Nature.

Medical research

Persistent DNA damage in the placenta affects pregnancy outcomes

Scientists at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have shown that a dysfunctional placenta can play a previously unrecognized role during the earliest stages of development in mouse models of Cornelia de Lange syndrome. ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Placentas from COVID-19-positive pregnant women show injury

The placentas from 16 women who tested positive for COVID-19 while pregnant showed evidence of injury, according to pathological exams completed directly following birth, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study.

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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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