SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Seventeen week old foetus. Coloured ultrasound scan of a section through the skull and brain (purple) of a seventeen week old foetus in the womb. The distance across the foetus' head (shown by dotted line) is 39 millimetres. At this stage connections are starting to develop between the foetus' nerves and muscles. Ultrasound scanning is a diagnostic technique that sends high-frequency sound waves into the body via a transducer. The returning echoes are recorded and used to build an image of an internal structure. Foetal ultrasound scanning is routine during pregnancy.
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