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Welcome to The Visible Embryo, a comprehensive educational resource on human development from conception to birth.

The Visible Embryo provides visual references for changes in fetal development throughout pregnancy and can be navigated via fetal development or maternal changes.

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Pregnancy Timeline by SemestersFemale Reproductive SystemFertilizationThe Appearance of SomitesFirst TrimesterSecond TrimesterThird TrimesterFetal liver is producing blood cellsHead may position into pelvisBrain convolutions beginFull TermWhite fat begins to be madeWhite fat begins to be madeHead may position into pelvisImmune system beginningImmune system beginningPeriod of rapid brain growthBrain convolutions beginLungs begin to produce surfactantSensory brain waves begin to activateSensory brain waves begin to activateInner Ear Bones HardenBone marrow starts making blood cellsBone marrow starts making blood cellsBrown fat surrounds lymphatic systemFetal sexual organs visibleFinger and toe prints appearFinger and toe prints appearHeartbeat can be detectedHeartbeat can be detectedBasic Brain Structure in PlaceThe Appearance of SomitesFirst Detectable Brain WavesA Four Chambered HeartBeginning Cerebral HemispheresEnd of Embryonic PeriodEnd of Embryonic PeriodFirst Thin Layer of Skin AppearsThird TrimesterDevelopmental Timeline
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September 12, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts


"We tested here the effects of one enigmatic seminal fluid protein, known as the 'sex
peptide', and found it to change the expression of a remarkable array of many genes
in females – both across time and in different parts of the body."

Prof. Tracey Chapman, University of East Anglia.

WHO Child Growth Charts

       

Research Reveals Responses of Genes in Females to Sex

Sex can trigger remarkable female responses including altered fertility, immunity, libido, eating and sleep patterns -- by the activation of diverse sets of genes, according to new research

Sex can trigger remarkable female responses including altered fertility, immunity, libido, eating and sleep patterns - by the activation of diverse sets of genes, according to research from the University of East Anglia.

Publishing today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the researchers studied how female Drosophila melanogaster - or fruit flies – respond to mating.


They discovered that a single protein found in semen
generates a wide range of responses in many genes
in females, which become apparent at different times
and in different parts of the
female's body following mating.


The findings could in principle be akin to responses in many animals, including humans, where sperm and semen is released inside the female's body during sex.

Lead researcher Prof Tracey Chapman, from UEA's school of Biological Sciences, said: "It's already known that seminal fluid proteins transferred from males during mating cause remarkable effects in females – including altered egg laying, feeding, immunity, sleep patterns, water balance and sexual receptivity.

"We tested here the effects of one enigmatic seminal fluid protein, known as the 'sex peptide', and found it to change the expression of a remarkable array of many genes in females – both across time and in different parts of the body.

"There were significant alterations to genes linked to egg development, early embryogenesis, immunity, nutrient sensing, behavior and, unexpectedly, phototransduction – or the pathways by which they see.


"It showed that the semen protein is a 'master regulator'
– which ultimately means that males effectively
have a direct and global influence on the
behaviour and reproductive system of the female.
Such effects may well occur across many species."


"An additional and intriguing twist is that the effects of semen proteins can favour the interests of males whilst generating costs in females, resulting in sexual conflict.

"For example, there can be a tug-of-war, where males employ semen proteins to ensure that females make a large investment in the current brood – even if that doesn't suit the longer term interests of females."

'Sex peptide of Drosophila melanogaster males is a global regulator of reproductive processes in females' is published online today by the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The paper is authored by T Chapman (UEA) with A Gioti (UCL and Uppsala University, Sweden) S Wigby (UCL and Oxford), B Wertheim (UCL and University of Gronigen, The Netherlands), E Schuster (UCL and the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Cambridge), P Martinez (UCL), C Pennington (UEA), L Partridge (UCL and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, Germany).

Original article: http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2012/September/fly-mating-responses