Series: Advances in Organ Biology

One of the mysteries of mammalian reproduction is the physiologic process that determines the length of gestation. The proper timing of birth ensures that the young individual is sufficiently developed to survive and adapt in the extrauterine environment, and that the mother is capable to provide nutrition and protection to the newborn. This volume summarizes new knowledge obtained by many researchers seeking to unravel the complex mechanisms that contribute to the maintenance and termination of pregnancy. The most important common goal of these efforts is to reduce the incidence of preterm birth, which is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality in numerous countries.
Separate chapters are devoted to the best-studied animal models of parturition. In sheep, the fetus is in control of the timing of its own birth, while in avian species, oviposition is evidently determined by the female laying the fertilised egg. In humans and non-human primates, the roles of the fetus and the mother are more balanced, and involve a complicated and poorly understood unterplay between the mother, the fetus, and the placenta. Some major aspects of these interactions, such as trophoblast function, myometrial contractility, and the endocrine-paracrine systems, are discussed in further chapters.

Book Series: The Biology of the Eye

Most recent volume

Volume 10. The Biology of the Eye

Published: 9th December 2005 Editor: Jorge Fischbarg

This book is the result of a collective effort. Due to an oversight, mention of three of the contributors who played an especially decisive role in bringing the work to fruition was omitted from the book. They should share fully in the intellectual credits accruing from this publication. I would therefore like to acknowledge and thank the following for their outstanding contributions to editing the work:

Dr. Morten Dornonville la Cour (MD, Dr. Med. Sci.) solicited and edited the chapters on retina, RPE, choroid, vitreous, immunology, and sclera. Dr. la Cour is a Lecturer, Eye Department, Copenhagen University Hospital, specializes in vitreoretinal surgery, and frequently lectures in the international scene. A trained mathematician, he has done research in retinal pigment epithelial physiology in the laboratories of Drs. Thomas Zeuthen and Sheldon Miller.

Dr. Friedrich P.J. Diecke and Dr. Elliott M. Kanner also provided invaluable editorial assistance. Dr Diecke, who was formerly Professor and Chairman of the Department of Physiology, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, is a Professor Emeritus at that institution. His research has concentrated on membrane transport mechanisms in lens epithelial cells, corneal endothelial cells and peripheral nerve and on the regulation of vascular smooth muscle contraction. Dr. Elliott M. Kanner was born in Canada in 1970. He graduated from Yale University in 1992 with a BS/MS degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. He received his PhD degree from the Rockefeller University in 1999 and his MD degree from Weill/Cornell in 2001. He is currently an Ophthalmology resident at Columbia University.

Jorge Fischbarg, December 2005

This book explores the many recent novel ideas about the eye in a systematic and synthetic way. It includes both basic sciences and applications towards clinical research. Chapters include both anatomical and functional descriptions of the different ocular tissues and treatments of a few subjects of practical importance for ophthalmologists. This book is intended for students in basic biomedical science interested in the eye, as well as ophthalmologists a comprehensive source on recent developments in ocular research.

Additional volumes

Volume 9. The Renal Circulation

Published: 20th December 2000 Editors: W.P. Anderson R.G. Evans K.M. Stevenson

Volume 8. A Functional View of Smooth Muscle

Published: 10th May 2000 Editors: L. Barr G. Christ

Volume 7. Coronary Angiogenesis

Published: 30th April 1999 Editor: K. Rakusan

Volume 5. Molecular and Cellular Biology of Bone, Part A

Published: 30th December 1998 Editors: M. Zaidi O.A. Adebanjo C.L.H. Huang

Volume 6. Myocardial Preservation and Cellular Adaptation

Published: 18th December 1998 Editor: D.K. Das

Volume 4. Heart Metabolism in Failure

Published: 21st September 1998 Editors: R.A. Altschuld R.A. Haworth

Volume 3. Retinoids: Their Physiological Function and Therapeutic Potential

Published: 30th October 1997 Editor: G.V. Sherbet

Volume 2. The Synapse: In Development, Health, and Disease

Published: 16th May 1997 Editors: B.W. Festoff D. Hantai B.A. Citron

Volume 1. Pregnancy and Parturition

Published: 25th June 1996 Editor: T. Zakar