Human Embryo

An embryo is the creature in its early stage of development.  It cannot survive on its own. The exact definition of it is variable in the context of humans, animals and  plants.

  • In Humans:

A fertilized egg is known as an embryo till about the eighth week of your pregnancy.  After the eighth week, it is better known as a fetus.

  • In Animals:

An organism at any pre-birth stage of development in the animal’s womb or eggs is characteristically known an Embryo.

  • In Plants

Embryos in plants are usually encased in seeds and may take a variety of forms..

Creation & Development

The expression ‘embryo’ is referred to a multicellular diploid eukaryote in the earliest stage of growth from the fertilization time through copulation till its delivery, hatching or germination.

Diploid eukaryotes have a complete set of hereditary material from the male and female partners, which takes the shape of haploid sperm and eggs.  A haploid cell has a single set of unpaired chromosomes. That means it is not possible for it to develop into anything without its combination with another one.

In humans, an embryonic life begins as soon as a woman attains pregnancy, although most of the organ systems grow from the third to eighth week.

Embryo development is known as embryogenesis. In creatures that reproduce sexually, when a sperm fertilizes an egg cell, they produce a zygote. The zygote has half the DNA from each of the male and female partners.

A zygote, in fact, is a single diploid cell produced by the fusion of two haploid cells. After fertilization, the zygote begins to divide.  These divisions lays the foundation for the mature organism to be born, hatched or germinated.  As this division starts, zygotes turn to become embryos.

Embryo and Life in Humans

The embryo status in humans is somewhat complicated. Once conception takes place, a human egg and sperm contained in the semen make a zygote.  The zygote then starts dividing to become an embryo.

In terms of human embryos and life, there has been a disagreement among scientists and no clarity is available.  There has also been conflict of opinions about abortion.

With an embryo gaining maturity, it begins taking an identifiable form.  At this point of time, the people start referring to it as a fetus.

Embryo Development in Animals

Embryos, as mentioned above, cannot survive on their own as they neither have the tissues and body structure nor organs required for their survival. The embryos’ parent feeds and look after them until they themselves are able to carry on their own.

  • Mammals accomplish this task by incubating the embryo inside their body. Their embryos get all the nourishment from the nutrients they themselves consume.
  • The embryos of the egg-laying animals and birds are endowed with a rich cover of nutrients sheathed in a hard shell. This cover protects them until they are all set to be hatched.

Embryo Development in Plants

Embryo development in plants solely depends on the manner in which different species reproduce.

Those plants that utilize seeds, embryogenesis happens in a natural way because of sexual fertilization shaping into zygotic embryos.    The embryo and the other cells from the female partner develop into a seed and grow as a new plant after germination.

Other species generate embryos through Somatic embryogenesis process. Small plants that grow by the side continue to flourish before their separation on their own.

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