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  • I was offered a position as associate professor of medicine

  • and chief of scientific visualization

  • at Yale University

  • in the department of medicine.

  • And my job was to write many of the algorithms and code

  • for NASA to do virtual surgery

  • in preparation for the astronauts going into deep spaceflight,

  • so they could be kept in robotic pods.

  • One of the fascinating things about what we were actually working on

  • is that we were seeing, using new kinds of scanning technologies,

  • things that had just never been seen before --

  • I mean, not only in disease management,

  • but also things that allowed us to see things about the body

  • that just made you marvel.

  • I remember one of the first times we were looking at collagen.

  • And your entire body, everything --

  • your hair, skin, bone, nails --

  • everything is made of collagen.

  • And it's a kind of rope-like structure

  • that twirls and swirls like this.

  • And the only place that collagen changes its structure

  • is in the cornea of your eye.

  • In your eye,

  • it becomes a grid formation,

  • and therefore, it becomes transparent, as opposed to opaque.

  • So perfectly organized a structure,

  • it was hard not to attribute divinity to it.

  • Because we kept on seeing this over and over and over again

  • in different parts of the body.

  • One of the opportunities I had

  • was one person was working on a really interesting

  • micromagnetic resonance imaging machine with the NIH.

  • And what we were going to do

  • was scan a new project

  • on the development of the fetus from conception to birth

  • using these kinds of new technologies.

  • So I wrote the algorithms in code,

  • and he built the hardware -- Paul Lauterbur --

  • then went onto win the Nobel Prize for inventing the MRI.

  • I got the data.

  • And I'm going to show you a sample of the piece,

  • "From Conception to Birth."

  • (Music)

  • Video text: "From Conception to Birth"

  • Oocyte

  • Sperm

  • Egg Inseminated

  • 24 Hours: Baby's first division

  • The fertilized ovum divides a few hours after fusion ...

  • And divides anew every 12 to 15 hours.

  • Early Embryo

  • Yolk sack still feeding Baby.

  • 25 Days: Heart chamber developing

  • 32 Days: Arms & hands are developing

  • 36 Days: Beginning of the primitive vertabrae

  • These weeks are the period of the most rapid development of the fetus.

  • If the fetus continues to grow at this speed for the entire nine months,

  • it would be 1.5 tons at birth.

  • 45 Days

  • Embryo's heart is beating twice as fast as the mother's.

  • 51 Days

  • 52 Days: Developing retina, nose and fingers

  • The fetus' continual movement in the womb

  • is necessary for muscular and skeletal growth.

  • 12 Weeks: Indifferent penis --

  • girl or boy yet to be determined

  • 8 Months

  • Delivery: the expulsion stage

  • The moment of birth

  • (Applause)

  • Alexander Tsiaras: Thank you.

  • But as you can see,

  • when you actually start working on this data,

  • it's pretty spectacular.

  • And as we kept on scanning more and more,

  • working on this project,

  • looking at these two simple cells

  • that have this kind of unbelievable machinery

  • that will become the magic of you.

  • And as we kept on working on this data,

  • looking at small clusters of the body,

  • these little pieces of tissue

  • that were a trophoblast coming off of a blastocyst,

  • all of a sudden burrowing itself into the side of the uterus,

  • saying, "I'm here to stay."

  • All of a sudden having conversation and communications

  • with the estrogens, the progesterones,

  • saying, "I'm here to stay, plant me,"

  • building this incredible trilinear fetus

  • that becomes, within 44 days,

  • something that you can recognize,

  • and then at nine weeks

  • is really kind of a little human being.

  • The marvel of this information:

  • How do we actually have this biological mechanism

  • inside our body

  • to actually see this information?

  • I'm going to show you something pretty unique.

  • Here's a human heart at 25 [weeks].

  • It's just basically two strands.

  • And like this magnificent origami,

  • cells are developing

  • at one million cells per second at four weeks,

  • as it's just folding on itself.

  • Within five weeks, you can start to see the early atrium and the early ventricles.

  • Six weeks, these folds are now beginning

  • with the papilla on the inside of the heart

  • actually being able to pull down

  • each one of those valves in your heart

  • until you get a mature heart --

  • and then basically the development of the entire human body.

  • The magic of the mechanisms

  • inside each genetic structure

  • saying exactly where that nerve cell should go --

  • the complexity of these mathematical models

  • of how these things are indeed done

  • are beyond human comprehension.

  • Even though I am a mathematician,

  • I look at this with marvel

  • of how do these instruction sets

  • not make these mistakes

  • as they build what is us?

  • It's a mystery, it's magic, it's divinity.

  • Then you start to take a look at adult life.

  • Take a look at this little tuft of capillaries.

  • It's just a tiny sub-substructure, microscopic.

  • But basically by the time you're nine months and you're given birth,

  • you have almost 60,000 miles of vessels

  • inside your body.

  • I mean, and only one mile is visible.

  • 59,999 miles

  • that are basically bringing nutrients and taking waste away.

  • The complexity of building that within a single system

  • is, again, beyond any comprehension

  • or any existing mathematics today.

  • And that instruction set,

  • from the brain to every other part of the body --

  • look at the complexity of the folding.

  • Where does this intelligence

  • of knowing that a fold can actually hold more information,

  • so as you actually watch the baby's brain grow --

  • and this is one of the things that we're doing right now.

  • We're actually doing the launch of two new studies

  • of actually scanning babies' brains from the moment they're born.

  • Every six months until they're six years old --

  • we're going to be doing actually to about 250 children --

  • watching exactly how the gyri and the sulci of the brains fold

  • to see how this magnificent development

  • actually turns into memories and the marvel that is us.

  • And it's not just our own existence,

  • but how does the woman's body understand

  • to have genetic structure that not only builds her own,

  • but then has the understanding

  • that allows her to become

  • a walking immunological, cardiovascular system

  • that basically is a mobile system

  • that can actually nurture, treat this child with a kind of marvel

  • that is beyond, again, our comprehension --

  • the magic that is existence, that is us?

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

I was offered a position as associate professor of medicine

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B1 TED fetus birth body comprehension collagen

【TED】Alexander Tsiaras: Conception to birth -- visualized (Conception to birth -- visualized | Alexander Tsiaras)

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    VoiceTube posted on 2013/04/10
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