Oncology & Cancer

Malaria vaccine provides hope for a general cure for cancer

The hunt for a vaccine against malaria in pregnant women has provided an unexpected side benefit for Danish researchers, namely what appears to be an effective weapon against cancer. The scientists behind the vaccine aim ...

Obstetrics & gynaecology

Placenta plays pivotal 'umpire' role to influence pregnancy outcomes

Researchers have shown for the first time how the placenta "umpires" a fight for nutrients between a pregnant mother and her unborn baby. The study suggests that the placenta will adjust the amount of nutrients transported ...

Medical research

Study: Mom's blood test can reveal Down syndrome

Scientists in Europe report they were able to diagnose Down syndrome prenatally by giving a simple blood test to pregnant women, an approach that might one day help them avoid the more extensive procedure used now to detect ...

Autism spectrum disorders

Autism risk spotted at birth in abnormal placentas

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine have figured out how to measure an infant's risk of developing autism by looking for abnormalities in his/her placenta at birth, allowing for earlier diagnosis and treatment for ...

Medical research

Do we clamp the umbilical cord too soon?

The timing of umbilical cord clamping at birth should be delayed just a few minutes longer, suggest researchers at the University of South Florida's Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair.

Medical research

Sickle cell anemia as malaria defense

Sickle cell anemia causes pain, fatigue and delayed growth, all because of a lack of enough healthy red blood cells. And yet genetic mutations that cause it - recessive genes for the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin protein - have ...

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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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