Imaging Technology Reaches Into Embryos for Enlightenment
The innovation is truly stunning. Think of ultrasounds, only better.
For quite a few decades, we accepted the fact that we couldn't only see so much of embryos with ultrasound. Those little babies were just too small. Plus there wasn't much of a reason to even want to see them. We knew what they "looked like." We understood the biological science behind them, and we know that instantly that's what happens when the sperm meets the egg: life begins. An embryo is created. A human baby begins to grow.
Who knew, though, that imaging technology would make it possible to not only see an embryo, but to determine a multitude of issues from within?
Researchers From the University of Houston and Baylor College of Medicine Have Discovered Just That: a New Imaging Technology
Here has been the challenge for many years when it came to embryonic development -- there are two factors involved, structural and molecular. Structurally, we can see that the embryo is there, growing at the rate it should normally grow. What we don't see is what could be happening at the molecular level.
The ability to observe that in real-time gives rise to preventing and even treating a variety of problems that typically arise at this stage of pregnancy: birth defects, miscarriages, and other long-term chronic conditions.
At the molecular level, the imaging technology developed by those researchers led by David Mayerich at the University of Houston, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, for this $3.7MM project, we'd be able to see the granular underpinnings of a developing circulatory system, finding new clues about the very imperfections we often have to live with in our early stages of development.
This is where the core of our health begins. This is why it's always crucial for mothers to be at the very best of health and also why miscarriages do happen often at this stage. The process is delicate.
Thankfully the imaging method involves optical coherence tomography (OCT), a process usually involving the study of the eye as the organ continues to grow and change. With 3D fluorescence imaging, it's possible to actually watch cells...grow!
The actual challenge, though, wasn't in achieving that breakthrough -- but timing that with microscopic findings. Again, tying the two factors, structural and molecular, together. Researchers have found a way to apply data science with microscopy for high-resolution imaging at gigantic scales --
Utilizing 3D as a way to synchronize all that data collection allows for matching structural growth with the actual continual cellular evolution. The goal is to then find particular biological benchmarks for anomalies that could be characterized as "birth defects" through research and examination of multiple samples.
In essence, if they do find something that is unique, they can then potentially discover that the "anomaly" may be, in effect, some sort of birth defect.
It Will Involve Long-Term Research and Analytics, Though, But Mothers Rejoice!
Fetal deaths may be a thing of the past very, very soon. Providing a bit of reassurance and stability will go a long way especially after the joy of finding out that you're pregnant. What do you think about the new burgeoning technology? SIGN UP FOR A VIGYAA ACCOUNT RIGHT NOW AND WRITE UP YOUR THOUGHTS. Be sure to CHECK OUT THE DATA DRIVEN INVESTOR AS WELL FOR MORE INSIGHTS INTO TECHNOLOGY!