umbilical cord

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umbilical cord

(ŭmbĭl`ĭkəl), cordlike structure about 22 in. (56 cm) long in the pregnant human female, extending from the abdominal wall of the fetus to the placentaplacenta
or afterbirth,
organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy. It is a unique characteristic of the higher (or placental) mammals. In humans it is a thick mass, about 7 in. (18 cm) in diameter, liberally supplied with blood vessels.
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. Its chief function is to carry nourishment and oxygen from the placenta to the fetus and return waste products to the placenta from the fetus. It consists of a continuation of the membrane covering the fetus and encloses a mucoid jelly through which one vein carries oxygenated blood and two arteries carry unoxygenated blood. After birth, the cord is clamped off and cut. It is sometimes abnormal in length and may break prematurely or form loops or knots, which may asphyxiate the fetus. The stump of the cord that is left attached to the infant withers and drops off, leaving the scar known as the navel.

Because umbilical cord blood is especially rich in stem cellsstem cells,
unspecialized human or animal cells that can produce mature specialized body cells and at the same time replicate themselves. Embryonic stem cells are derived from a blastocyst (the blastula typical of placental mammals; see embryo), which is very young embryo that
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 (cells that give rise to red blood cells and lymphocytes) some parents choose to save it in private cord blood banks in case of future need as a transplant alternative to bone marrow, but in many diseases treated with stem cells such autologous transplants are contraindicated. Studies have shown that people not related to the donor (genetically mismatched) can benefit from transplants of umbilical cord blood in combating leukemialeukemia
, cancerous disorder of the blood-forming tissues (bone marrow, lymphatics, liver, spleen) characterized by excessive production of immature or mature leukocytes (white blood cells; see blood) and consequently a crowding-out of red blood cells and platelets.
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 and other cancers. Cord blood has also been used to repair heart and other tissue defects in children with certain metabolic disorders.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Umbilical Cord

 

an anatomical formation in humans and other placental mammals that connects the fetus with the placenta, and—through the placenta—with the mother. The umbilical cord consists mainly of gelatinous tissue known as Wharton’s jelly, through which the two umbilical arteries and the umbilical vein pass. When the fetus is full-term, the umbilical cordis 1–1.5 cm thick and about 50 cm long.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about an umbilical cord?

An umbilical cord in a dream can represent a source of nourishment, but it often carries less pleasant connotations of dependency, or a crippling emotional tie to one’s mother.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.

umbilical cord

[əm′bil·ə·kəl ‚kȯrd]
(aerospace engineering)
Any of the servicing electrical or fluid lines between the ground or a tower and an uprighted rocket vehicle before the launch. Also known as umbilical.
(embryology)
The long, cylindrical structure containing the umbilical arteries and vein, and connecting the fetus with the placenta.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

umbilical cord

the long flexible tubelike structure connecting a fetus with the placenta: it provides a means of metabolic interchange with the mother
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Kerri said the doctor told her the umbilical chord had been wrapped around Arwyn's neck twice and he was taken to the Special Care Unit where he was given continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for 48 hours.
According to court records the woman went into a bathroom, gave birth and cut the umbilical chord herself before locking the newborn child in the laundry room.
She then untangled the umbilical chord from around her neck and made sure her airways were clear.
Blue, gray and gold splatters intermingle in the background before a strong shade of pink filters through in the shape of an umbilical chord. The above description is of one Hassan's untitled works that reflect her fixation with embryonic symbols.
With the pool acting as a safe space to which the artist can retreat, Flip floats in a womb-like fantasy, complete with the umbilical chord of the breathing tube.
From cutting the umbilical chord through weaning to making its first independent steps and first words, the mother recognises that she is part of a nurturing process towards autonomy and procreation.
Steven was born with the umbilical chord wrapped around his neck, which resulted in severe brain damage.
The woman apparently abandoned the child and another woman fetched the infant out of the toilet bowl where the mother had left it still attached to the umbilical chord. The rescuer`s daughters and another stranger all worked to save the child and a bobby pin was used to tie off the chord according to CNN.
RIDGELAND, Miss.--Mobile-Comm is targeting families with its Umbilical Chord pager, being marketed as a low-cost safety device that allows children, parents and grandparents to stay in touch at all times.
But the pregnancy never progressed past sixteen weeks -- the early stage of the second trimester -- because of complications caused by a tangled umbilical chord.