3.–8. Week of Embryogenesis

by John McLachlan, PhD

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    Hello, and welcome to this lecture on the three major stages of development, but focusing on the embryonic period, from the third week to the eighth week after fertilization. And the reason we’re focusing on that particular time is because this is the sensitive period when major morphological abnormalities develop. That’s major abnormalities affecting the body systems, such as the limbs, the skull, the brain, and so on. Because of this, it’s also emotionally challenging. It’s a disturbing subject to talk about, and therefore, we have to be aware of that when we’re dealing with it, both for ourselves and also for others. In the lecture, we’ll explore this critical sensitive period of development. Then we’ll look at the causes of some major morphological abnormalities, and the implications that this may have for parents and for children as a consequence. The three major periods of development in human development are, first of all, the pre-embryo, then the embryonic period, and then subsequently, the fetal period. We have a little calendar to this side to illustrate that there’s time involved here and these are of very different lengths. So the pre-embryo is from fertilization to about two and a half weeks later. The embryonic period is from that two and a half weeks up to about eight weeks after fertilization, and then the fetal period is from nine weeks after fertilization up to the time of birth. These are technical terms. So people will often talk about embryos when they really mean the pre-embryo or a fetus when they really mean the embryonic stage. But there’s value in having technically defined terms in medical terminology so that we can speak with precision. Just be aware that it’s not the same as the common language usage of these particular terms. You can...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture 3.–8. Week of Embryogenesis by John McLachlan, PhD is from the course Embryology: Advanced. It contains the following chapters:

    • The Three Major Periods of Development
    • The Embryonic Period
    • Developmental Abnormalities
    • The Cause of Developmental Abnormalities
    • Enviromental Causes of Abnormalities
    • The Role of Pre-Natal Diagnosis

    Author of lecture 3.–8. Week of Embryogenesis

     John McLachlan, PhD

    John McLachlan, PhD

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