London: The origins of congenital heart defects could be traced back to the first stages of embryonic development, a new study has found.Researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) found that the beginnings of important parts of the heart can be traced to very early stages of embryo development.Biologists investigated chicken eggs at the gastrulation stage - between 12 and 14 hours after fertilisation.They found that some cells would go on to create the anterior and secondary heart fields - after the initial formation of a primitive linear heart tube.This method of understanding the correlation between the embryonic origin of cells and later stages of development is called `fate mapping`.The addition of these early cells to the growing heart is crucial as it allows the heart to develop and form other important structures including the outflow tract.The research is the first to `fate map` the origin of the cells which contribute to the outflow tract in early stage embryos.Many cardiac malformations present in newborns are associated with the outflow tract and it is hoped that understanding some of the underlying causes may be helpful to affected families."We were researching chick embryos, but the process of development in humans is very similar. However while the gastrulation stage takes place within just a few hours in chicks, it takes a little longer in humans and happens in the third week of pregnancy," Professor Andrea Munsterberg, from the school of Biological Sciences at UEA, said.
BJP complains to EC against Rahul Gandhi
Raj Thackeray to support Modi for PM`s post
RSS people killed Mahatma Gandhi: Rahul Gandhi
AAP leader Ashwin Upadhyay calls Arvind Kejriwal `CIA agent`