In the Womb

Dec 1, 2006 5:09pm

We have this fruitful relationship with National Geographic–we get to borrow their pictures, they get exposure on our broadcasts. This month they have some truly beautiful pictures, which we used tonight on World News.  Using 4-D ultrasounds, and extrapolating from them to make computer animations, they’ve done a program about how animals develop in the uterus.  If you missed it, you can watch our piece HERE.
Their show is called "In the Womb: Animals," and the National Geographic Channel will start to show it next Sunday night, Dec. 10.  We’ve done up a slide show of some still frames; take a look, if you haven’t seen it already, HERE.  You can find more on National Geographic’s site HERE. But the moving video is far better, so I hope you’ll catch our piece, and their program.  One point to make clear: much of the coolest-looking stuff is computer animation, or carefully-made models, extrapolated from ultrasounds.  When pictures leaked to a London newspaper, there was some huffing and puffing about those poor unborn animals ripped from the womb–when none had been.  An ultrasound on a dolphin is done exactly the same way as it is on a human being.  Pretty pictures, and if they help spread knowledge, so much the better.  Have a good weekend.

(Above: a computer-generated image of an elephant fetus 16 weeks after conception.  An Asian elephant takes 22 months from conception to birth, when it weighs 260 pounds.  Courtesy National Geographic Channel.)

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