Building a body

Life is...
Biology for you
Noticing the familiar
The Time Tunnel
Inside the body
Body systems
Terms of position
Building a body
Body defences
What is life?

We all begin as a single cell, the fertilised egg, or zygote. During the following nine months, that cell becomes many cells, and together they form the baby, with all the different organs and systems required for survival after birth. The scientific study of this period of development before birth is called embryology.

If you are studying the human body, then a knowledge of embryology will be invaluable - it will help you to make sense of how the body is arranged, and give an insight into why and how things may sometimes go wrong. For example, you may be wondering why the transverse colon loops across from one side of the abdomen to the other, suspended from a thin mesentery? By going back in time and looking at the stages of development that produce the large intestine, you will begin to see why.


The truly fascinating study of prenatal development is introduced here.

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Home What is an analogy? The body Before birth