The Education Resource Fund is now in the final stages of preparation for the launch of its interactive prenatal science app. Until this project, titled the "See Baby Grow" app, is available in app stores, those interested in obtaining pre-release prenatal imagery may download the two 35-second video clips linked below. "Download 1" depicts a 6 week embryo, and "Download 2" a 7 week embryo. Each embryo has been scanned using a medical imaging procedure called embryoscopy. These downloads feature direct videography of embryos as they actually develop in their mothers' uteri.
Additionally, non-commercial users may email or text links to any ERF content designated for sharing, or post such content on any major social media site.
ERF content designated for sharing:
6 week video
7 week video
more to follow ...
No ERF content may be altered without ERF permission.
Users wishing to employ “sharable” ERF imagery for any non-commercial purpose other than sharing via email, text message, or social media may request permission to do so at info@ERF.science. Please include a brief description of the proposed use, including the planned program context in which the imagery will appear, as well as the platform on which it will be posted, broadcast, etc.
Subtitles in 92 languages for ERF video "The Science of Life Before Birth"
We have prepared the script of “The Science of Life Before Birth” in 92 different languages. You can download a PDF of each of those translations by following the links below.
High-resolution images of embryos and fetuses developing in utero
See Baby Grow app video
The See Baby Grow app video depicts embryos and fetuses, alive in the uterus, throughout every stage of pregnancy. These preborn babies have been scanned using embryoscopy and fetoscopy medical imaging technology, as well as high-resolution, research-grade sonography. The narration describes developmental anatomy and physiology as it unfolds through all three trimesters of pregnancy.
If you are a medical practitioner or science educator/researcher, or student, please consider offering an endorsement for this project.
Professional reviews neither state nor imply institutional endorsement:
Post the following prenatal development facts on your social media platforms:
Post the following prenatal development facts on your social media platforms, in 49 different languages:
Follow the Science International Signs
We've prepared these compelling signs to illustrate the growth of the human fetus in perspective of commons coins in many different countries. Click the button below to see 49 different signs.
The ERF prenatal videos featured at www.ERF.science are updated and expanded variants of the science documentary titled "The Biology of Prenatal Development."
“The developmental period before birth is increasingly understood as a time of preparation during which the developing human acquires the many structures, and practices the many skills, needed for survival after birth. As our understanding of early human development advances, so too will our ability to enhance health––both before and after birth.”
The Biology of Prenatal Development, a documentary film originally distributed by the National Geographic Society
The following science documentaries, medical textbooks, and medical journal articles are among the many educational resources which provide useful information regarding the biology of prenatal development:
Medical Journal Articles
© See Baby Grow pregnancy tracker
Follow your baby's gestational development through all 266 days comprising the 38 weeks of the 9 months of your pregnancy.
Get notified when the pregnancy tracker feature launches!
See 12 of your baby's vital organs depicted in embryonic, fetal, and adult age stages and illustrated as 3D models which you can rotate about their vertical, horizontal, etc. axes
THE INTRICATE ORIGINS OF PRENATAL & GLOBAL IMAGERY, FROM ENDOSCOPES TO TELESCOPES
ERF’s embryo and fetus pictures are derived from many smaller images “stitched” together in much the same manner NASA uses to combine satellite photo “tiles” to form a large “mosaic.”
The Education Resource Fund’s (www.ERF.Science) human embryo and fetus imagery was initially derived by teams of physician researchers and clinicians employing endoscopy (and its subsets, embryoscopy and fetoscopy) to diagnose and treat prenatal disorders in utero. Endoscopes are medical imaging devices which permit the minimally invasive, high resolution observation of tissues inside the human body. At the distal end of these instruments is an objective lens designed for imaging. At the proximal end is an eyepiece, or sensor, which enables viewing.
HOW THEY WORK
These scopes generally consist of a tube which encloses a relay lens system (in rigid endoscopes) or a fiber bundle (for fiber-optic, or flexible, endoscopes) for illumination and to transmit an image from the objective lens inside the body to the proximal end outside.
Said differently, endoscopes use optical elements to direct light to the area sought to be illuminated and transmit the resulting image to the eye or detector. Rigid endoscopes generally offer superior resolution or magnification. But an endoscope’s objective lens is only approximately 1/5 of an inch in diameter, and this relatively small size substantially narrows the observer’s field of view (even with the addition of supplemental lenses such as “negative” or “prism” optics, etc.).
This limitation is further compounded by the need to use the scope in very confined spaces, with only short distances separating the objective lens from the anatomical structures being imaged. As a consequence, only a small segment of the embryo or fetus is observable at any point along the timeline of the scan. An endoscope’s construction must also accommodate frequently conflicting design considerations. The resulting compromises can involve not only fields of view, but depths of field (meaning thickness of the plane of focus) and image illumination and magnification, as well as distortion issues (i.e., stretched or compressed perspective), etc.
So to depict a high quality, single image of the entire embryo or fetus, large numbers of smaller, more detailed pictures must be joined together in a manner suggestive of the process by which puzzle pieces are assembled to form a completed picture.
This technique employs a complex proprietary process which combines segmental scans to create a final composite image. The resulting picture is digitally adjusted to preserve each segment’s original color, resolution, contrast, illumination, etc. Technicians also correct for vignetting (image degradation or loss at the periphery of the frame).
MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING & ULTRASOUND
The British medical journal Lancet has published a prenatal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study involving the creation of 3D pictures to diagnose and treat congenital heart problems afflicting fetuses still in the uterus. The BBC reports that “A series of 2D pictures of the heart are taken from different angles using an MRI machine” to image the fetus.
The story explains that “Sophisticated computer software pieces the images together, adjusts for the beating of the heart and builds … [a] 3D image of the heart.” A pediatric cardiologist describes the resulting 3D images as “beautiful.”
This MRI research is part of a fetal diagnostic project which is also exploring scans using “four ultrasound probes at the same time – current scans use one – to get a more detailed picture.” This process produces a more wholistic composite image.
NASA COMPOSITE IMAGERY (SINGLE MEDIUM)
ERF’s imaging process is conceptually similar to the technologies used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to produce wide-area satellite images of the earth’s surface. Until the launch of the Deep Space Climate Observatory Satellite (DSOVR), which now orbits one million miles from earth, NASA had no camera positioned sufficiently far from earth to capture the globe’s entire sunlit surface in a single photograph. As previously noted, an endoscope’s objective lens must also operate too near to an embryo or fetus to permit its entire anatomy to be imaged in a single frame. This is the same constraint which complicates the capture of satellite imagery. Previous pictures of the earth could, therefore, only be created using digital stitching technology to make one large composite image from smaller segments. Scientists sometimes describe this final image (or “data set”) as a “mosaic,” comprised of many individual tiles.
HYBRID IMAGERY (MULTI-MEDIA)
A satellite picture can also be augmented by aerial photography (cameras on aircraft platforms) to improve resolution. Hybrid images of this sort can be created by superimposing black and white imagery (for still higher resolution) over color pictures of the same area, the latter to optimize chromic (color) fidelity.
The scientific press, for instance, reports that the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) “combined over one thousand precise, calibrated satellite images with other data from the continent’s surface to create a single picture of the entire continent.” The high magnification factor (think telephoto lenses which enlarge image objects) of each of these puzzle pieces yielded a composite picture depicting more detail than would have been visible in a single photo shot with a wide angle lens.
Behind the Scenes of the App Development
Below you see the motion menu chapter thumbnails that will be utilized in the upcoming See Baby Grow app. These chapters also preview video in the feature length video.
Stock Image Resources
Many stock image resources are available across the internet. These links provide quick access to embryonic and fetal imagery available for free or for purchase.
The Education Resource Fund is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) charity, which facilitates the creation and distribution of a broad range of instructional materials authored and produced by individuals and organizations whose branded and copyrighted projects (domestic and international) advance the state of knowledge in subject areas vital to the public interest.