Durham, England, The placenta is the link between maternal nutrition and the fetus. A new study has revealed that the placenta may play an important role in determining the gestation period of humans and other mammals.
This research links the growth rate of placental structure in the womb by the mother how to distribute nutrients to the baby.
Besides the body size of mammals themselves the possibility of determining how long the pregnancy. For example, in humans the time her pregnancy for 9 months, while the meadow mouse only takes 3 weeks.
The placenta plays an important role in mammalian reproduction, which serves to transfer nutrients and oxygen from mother to fetus is conceived, as well as carrying out waste fetuses. The structure of the placenta is highly variable from one species into another species.
This study shows that the variation of the placenta plays a role of gestational age.Researchers analyzed 109 species of mammals were found to be increasingly complex and folded forms of the placenta, then the shorter the period of pregnancy.
Researchers believe that more folds of the placenta will be making more nutrients are delivered to the baby, spur growth and reduce the time of pregnancy. This is because the more complex placenta was found in rats (pregnancy period 3 weeks), puppy (2 month gestation period) and leopards (3-month gestation period).
But in humans and other primates such as baboons looks simple structure of the placenta, thus making fewer nutrients into the fetus that causes slow growth and a longer time her pregnancy.
“In the human placenta has a branch simple finger with a relatively limited network connection between mother and fetus, while the leopard complex that forms the placenta interconnection greater exchange of nutrients,” says Dr Isabella Capellini, author of the study from Durham University, as quoted from BBC News, Friday (11/19/2010).
Based on the research is why mammals have variations in terms of pregnancy despite having a similar weight. The results of this study have been published in the journal American Naturalist.
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