False color image of longitudinally sectioned maternal spiral arteriole surrounded by invasive trophoblasts.
One out of 50 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but the diagnosis is usually made when these children are 3 to 4 years of age or older. By then the best opportunities for intervention have been lost because the brain is most responsive to treatment in the first year of life.
Menstrual cycle regulation is a critical step in embryo implantation and successfully achieving pregnancy. Since a majority of cases of unexplained infertility may result from implantation failure, there is a need to assess the endometrium accurately for defects that could preclude implantation. Current tools for endometrial evaluation, however, are limited.
A healthy placenta is the single most important factor in producing a healthy baby. The placenta, which is in fact part of the fetus, is critical for all aspects of pregnancy from implantation to delivery. As early as three days after fertilization, the trophoblasts, the major cell type of the placenta, begin to make human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone which insures that the endometrium will be receptive to the implanting embryo.