ALEXANDER TSIARAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. ALEXANDER TSIARAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Endoscopic image of the human foetus in vivo, after 18 weeks, showing the fingers and thumb: there are small nails on the ends of the fingers & the cartilage of the hand is changing into bone. The foetus at this time is about 8 inches long. The endoscope, a series of lenses and a fibre- optic light source, is inserted through the cervix (the neck of the womb) and manipulated until a "window" into the amniotic sac is found (ie an area where the wall is thinner).
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