CIMN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CIMN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Twenty-four week old foetus. Coloured 3-D ultrasound scan of a twenty-four week old foetus in the womb, playing with its umbilical cord (purple). Its head is at upper left, an arm is at lower right. At this stage the foetus' eyelids separate and the foetus can open its eyes for the first time. Its lungs are also fully developed and it is possible for babies born at 24 weeks to survive. 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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