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18 - Final general discussion

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 February 2011

Graham J. Burton
Affiliation:
Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge
David J. P. Barker
Affiliation:
MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre, University of Southampton
Ashley Moffett
Affiliation:
Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge
Kent Thornburg
Affiliation:
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland, OR
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Summary

This conclusion presents some general points on the placenta and human developmental programming. A summary of the contributions of each author is presented. The chapter begins with Michelle Lampl who has volunteered to consider the fetus as a driver. Boyd comments on 'safety factors' as discussed by Jared Diamond. One of the greatest differences in human evolution as people moved out of Africa were in the two sets of genes, the KIR and HLA genes. A computer-based project on whether immune system genes have any characteristics that are unique compared with other genes is mentioned. According to Moffett, the difficulty in humans in experimenting on trophoblast needs further discussion. Sibley has tried to put together a simple model of placental adaptations, compensations and plasticity. He says that spiral artery conversion is key here. According to Cooper, there is room within the normal range encountered, for more placental epidemiology.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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