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Human embryo: face

Human embryo: face


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Endoscope image of the human embryo in the womb after approximately 6 weeks development, showing the face, centred on the retina of the eye (the dark, roughly circular area). Development of the eye occurs from 4th to 9th week: early stages result from a fold on the side of the forebrain (the primitive cerebral cortex). At 5 1/2 weeks this has become a hemispherical cup, the outer surface of which has formed the retina; the inner surface throws out a stalk which will form the optic nerve. The lens is also formed around this time, appearing as a transparent liquid-filled bag. After 9 weeks the lens has been covered with the cornea & eyelids begin to develop.

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