EDUCATION: Becoming Human

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Science  09 Jul 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5681, pp. 157
DOI: 10.1126/science.305.5681.157c

An 8-week-old human embryo already boasts eyelids, ears, and separated toes and fingers. Students can follow the progress of human development with movies, images, and animations at this site from Mark Hill of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. One section tracks changing body form through the 23 Carnegie stages that define the first 2 months of development. Other pages focus on particular structures, tracing the growth of the head, for example, and showing a furrow on the embryo's back closing to form the spinal cord, the process called neurulation. There's also a backgrounder on abnormal development.

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