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Child Dev. Ch. 4

Vocabulary, Genetics, Prenatal Dev. and Birth

Ovum The egg, contributed by the mother, that will grow into a developing human if fertilized by a sperm cell.
Genes Segments of DNA molecules , passed along from parents to offspring, that determine the characteristics of a developing human.
DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) Long, double stranded molecules that make up chromosomes. Genetic information is carried in DNA within cells.
Chromosomes Chemical structures contained in the nucleus of all human cells that carry all the genetic information necessary for the development of a unique individual.
Meiosis A special cell division process that leads to the formation of a father's sperm cell and a mother's ovum.
Zygote A fertilized egg, resulting from the union of sperm and ovum at conception, that contains a full complement of 48 chromosomes.
Dominant Gene A gene for one trait that overpowers a gene for an alternate trait.
Recessive Gene A gene for one trait that is overpowered by an dominant gene for an alternate trait. A recessive gene expresses itself only when paired with another recessive gene.
Down Syndrome A genetic condition caused by an extra chromosome, that can lead to mental retardation, heart problems, motor delays, and unique physical features such as reduced stature.
Fragile X Syndrome A genetic condition, caused by a brittle or separated X chromosome, that can lead to mental retardation and infantile autism.
Rh Disease A genetic condition caused by inheriting blood from the father that is incompativble with that of the mother, that can lead to anemia, jaundice, mental retardation and death.
Hemophilia A genetically derived condition that limits blood clotting and can lead to internal bleeding.
Klinefelter's Syndrome A genetically derived condition that can result in sterility, physical malformation, and mental health problems.
Sickle-Cell Anemia A genetically derived condition, more common in African Americans, that causes severe pain, heart and kidney problems, and early death.
Thalassemia A genetically derived blood disorder, more common in Asians, that causes damage to vital organs.
Cystic Fibrosis A genetically derived enzyme disorder, more common in Pueblo Indians and Europeans, that causes mucus to form in the lungs and intestinal track.
Tay-Sachs Disease A genetically derived enzyme, more common in Jews of eastern European descent, that causes deterioration of the brain and nervous system.
Prenatal Development The development of the human organism after conception and before birth.
Period of the Ovum The first period of prenatal development, during the first 2 weeks after conception, when the developing human is a rapidly going shapeless mass of specialized cells.
Period of the Embryo The second period of prenatal development, from 2 to 8 weeks after conception, when all major organs and structures of the body are formed.
Placenta A soft mass that allows the flow of nutrients from the mother to the embryo during prenatal development.
Umbilical Cord A cord that transports nutrients from the mother to the fetus during prenatal development.
Amnion A protective, fluid-filled sac that forms around the embryo during prenatal development.
Period of the Fetus The third period of prenatal development, from 8 weeks after conception to birth, when there is rapid growth and continued development of organs.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) A leading cause of death among infants in which a baby stops breathing without cause, usually at night.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) A condition caused by a mother's heavy drinking during pregnancy that can lead to nervous system impairment, mental retardation, hyperactivity, and deficiencies in weight, height, and brain size.
Labor The process of giving birth, which occurs in three stages: dilation, birth of the baby, and expulsion of the placenta
Natural Childbirth The process of giving birth in a comfortable, family-oriented, and nonmedical way while avoiding the use of drugs.
Midwives Childbirth specialists--generally not relatives or doctors--who provide emotional and physical support to mother's during labor and delivery.