Paper - On a human blastula recovered from the uterine cavity 4 days after ovulation

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Hertig AT. and Rock J. On a human blastula recovered from the uterine cavity 4 days after ovulation. (1946) J Gerontol. 1(1): 96-117.

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This historic 1945 abstract from the American Association of Anatomists annual meeting describes early human development in week 2. See also:



Hertig AT. and Rock J. Two human ova of the pre-villous stage, having a developmental age of about seven and nine days respectively. (1945) Contrib. Embryol., Carnegie Inst. Wash. Publ. 557, 31: 65-84.

Hertig AT. and Rock J. On a normal human ovum not over 7.5 days of age. (1945) Anat. Rec, 91: 281.

Hertig AT. and Rock J. On a normal ovum of approximately 9 to 10 days of age. (1945) Anat. Rec, 91: 281.

Links: Carnegie stage 2 | Week 2


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On a human blastula recovered from the uterine cavity 4 days after ovulation

Arthur T Hertig
Arthur Tremain Hertig (1904-1990)
John Charles Rock
John Charles Rock (1890-1984)

Carnegie, No. 8190


Arthur T . Hertig and John Rock


Free Hospital for Women, Brookline, Mass., Departments of Pathology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Harvard Medical School and Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Abstract from the 1946 annual meeting of American Association of Anatomists


The specimen was recovered from a uterus removed surgically on the twenty-first day of a menstrual cycle previously ranging from 25 to 32 days duration. Probable fertile coitus occurred 4.5 days previously. Endometrium morphologically was characteristic of the eighteenth day, ovulation having oecurred 4 days previously. The stigma of the recent corpus luteum was unhealed.


The free-lying blastula was obtained in Locke’s solution removed b y pipette from the cavity of a submerged uterus opened completely at one side and partially across the fundus. The specimen was discovered with a biuocular dissecting microscope using 10 diameters of magnification. Fresh, the specimen measured 190 x 150 micra but after fixation in Bouin’s fluid, begun 1 hour after removal of the uterus, it measured 175 x 124 micra. It was surrounded by a sticky, thick, transparent, refractile vitelline membrane which shrank during fixation.


Following dehydration and embedding in celloidin-paraffine, 15 perfect serial sections of 6 micra each were obtained by Dr. Chester Heuser. Nine blastomeres of varying size and shape are present: 5 containing 1 nucleus each, 3 with 2 nuclei each and 1 with 3 nuclei. Three of the single-nucleated hlastomeres are in varying stages of mitosis. A segmentation cavity is just beginning to form.


Because of the presence of multinucleated blastomeres the specimen is probably not normal, although no other human specimen is available for comparieon.



Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2019, August 20) Embryology Paper - On a human blastula recovered from the uterine cavity 4 days after ovulation. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Paper_-_On_a_human_blastula_recovered_from_the_uterine_cavity_4_days_after_ovulation

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