Conception to Birth, Visualized

April 3, 2012

Alexander Tsiaras delivered a TED talk on “Conception to Birth, Visualized” at the December 2010 INK Conference. The full 10 minute talk can be seen below, and contains some truly amazing, authentic images of the child in the womb — especially at its earliest stages of development.

A few things I found especially remarkable: The first trimester is the period of the most rapid development of the child. The first cell division in the child occurs within 24 hours of insemination. Cells within the heart are developing at a rate of 1 million cells per second by 4 weeks. If the fetus grew at its same initial speed for the entire pregnancy, it would be 1.5 tons at birth. Within 45 days the embryo’s heart is beating twice as fast as the mother’s. By the time you’re born, you have almost 60,000 miles of vessels inside the body, and only one mile is visible.

“The complexity of building that [creature] within a single system is beyond any comprehension of any existing mathematics today,” remarks Tsiaris.

To be human is an extraordinary treasure, a gift to be savored and appreciated and shared. We are mysteries.

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