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Fertilization - Medical Animation
 
This animation may only be used in support of a single legal proceeding and for no other purpose. Read our License Agreement for details. To license this animation for other purposes, click here.

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Fertilization - Medical Animation
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT:
Fertilization is the epic story of a single sperm facing incredible odds to unite with an egg, and form a new human life. It is the story of all of us. During sexual intercourse, about 300 million sperm enter the vagina. Soon afterward, millions of them will either flow out of the vagina, or die in its acidic environment. However, many survive because of the protective elements provided in the fluid surrounding them. Next, the sperm must pass through the cervix, an opening into the uterus. Usually it remains tightly closed, but here the cervix is open for a few days while the woman ovulates. The sperm swim through the cervical mucus, which is thinned to a more watery consistency for easier passage. Once inside the cervix, the sperm continue swimming towards the uterus. Though millions will die trying to make it through the mucus, some sperm remain behind, caught in the folds of the cervix. But they may later continue the journey as a back-up after the first group. Inside the uterus, muscular uterine contractions assist the sperm on their journey. However, resident cells from the woman's immune system, mistaking this sperm for foreign invaders, destroy thousands more. Next, half the sperm head for the empty fallopian tube, while the other half swim toward the tube containing the unfertilized egg. Now, only a few thousand remain. Inside the fallopian tube, tiny cilia push the egg toward the uterus. To continue, the sperm must surge against this motion to reach the egg. Some sperm get trapped in the cilia and die. During this part of the journey, chemicals in the reproductive tract cause the membranes covering the heads of the sperm to change. As a result, the sperm become hyperactive, swimming harder and faster toward their destination. At long last, the sperm reach the egg. Only a few dozen of the original 300 million sperm remain. The egg is covered with a layer of cells called the corona radiata. The sperm must push through this layer to reach the outer layer of the egg, the zona pellucida. When sperm reach the zona pellucida, they attach to specialized sperm receptors on the surface, which triggers their acrosomes to release digestive enzymes, enabling the sperm to burrow into the layer. Inside the zona pellucida is a narrow, fluid-filled space just outside the egg cell membrane. The first sperm to make contact will fertilize the egg. After a perilous journey against incredible odds, a single sperm attaches to the egg cell membrane. Within a few minutes, the outer membranes fuse and the egg pulls the sperm inside. This event causes changes in the egg membrane that prevent other sperm from attaching to it. Next, the egg releases chemicals that push other sperm away from the egg, and create an impenetrable fertilization membrane. As is the reaction spreads outward, the zona pellucida hardens, trapping any sperm unlucky enough to be caught inside. Outside the egg, sperm are no longer able to attach to the zona pellucida. Meanwhile, inside the egg, the tightly packed male genetic material spreads out. A new membrane forms around the genetic material, creating the male pronucleus. Inside, the genetic material reforms into 23 chromosomes. The female genetic material, awakened by diffusion of the sperm with the egg, finishes dividing, resulting in the female pronucleus, which also contains 23 chromosomes. As the male and female pronuclei form, spider-like threads, called microtubules, pull them toward each other. The two sets of chromosomes join together, completing the process of fertilization. At this moment, a unique genetic code arises, instantly determining gender, hair color, eye color, and hundreds of other characteristics. This new single cell, the zygote, is the beginning of a new human being. And now the cilia in the fallopian tube gently sweep the zygote toward the uterus, where he or she will implant in the rich uterine lining, growing and maturing for the next nine months, until ready for birth.

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"The Doe Report's Do-It-Yourself Exhibits program enables easy customization of complex medical exhibits at a reasonable expense and in a timely manner. Practically speaking, custom medical exhibits are no longer an unthinkable luxury, but a routine necessity."

Jack S. Cohen
Levy, Angstreich, Finney, Baldante & Coren
Philadelphia, PA

"Thank you very much for the great work on the medical exhibits. Our trial resulted in a $16 million verdict for a 9 year old boy with catastrophic injuries, and the medical illustrations definitely played key role in the trial."

David Cutt
Brayton Purcell
Salt Lake City, UT

"For us, the defining feature of effective demonstrative evidence is whether, by itself, the piece will tell the story of the case. Medical legal Art provides our firm with illustrations and animations that are clear and persuasive. Their exhibits tell the story in a way that allows the jury to understand a very complex subject, very quickly."

James D. Horwitz
Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, P.C.
Bridgeport, CT

"We got a defense verdict yesterday! Your exhibit was extremely helpful in showing the jury how unlikely it is to damage all four of the nerve branches which control the sense of taste."

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Silverman Bernheim & Vogel, P.C.
Philadeplphia, PA













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