reproduction


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

reproduction

 [re″pro-duk´shun]
1. the creation of a similar object or situation; replication or duplication.
2. the process by which a living entity or organism produces a new individual of the same kind. The sex glands, or gonads (the ovaries in the female and the testes in the male) produce the germ cells (ova and sperm) that unite and grow into a new individual. Reproduction begins when the germ cells unite, a process called fertilization.
Production of Germ Cells. The germ cells are the male spermatozoon and the female ovum (secondary oocyte). The secondary oocyte (mature ovum) is a large round cell that is just visible to the naked eye. Spermatozoa, on the other hand, can be seen only under a microscope, where each appears as a small, flattened head with a long whiplike tail used for locomotion.



In the female, maturation of an ovum is a remarkable process controlled by hormones secreted by the endocrine glands. The menstrual cycle is ordinarily 28 days long, measured from the beginning of one menstrual period to the beginning of the next. During the first 2 weeks of the usual cycle, one of the ova becomes mature enough to be released from the ovary. At the time of ovulation this mature ovum (secondary oocyte) is released and at this point can be fertilized. If fertilization occurs, the fertilized ovum (zygote) is then discharged into the abdominal cavity. Somehow, by mechanisms that are not clear, it moves into a fallopian tube and begins its descent toward the uterus. If the ovum remains unfertilized, menstrual bleeding occurs about 2 weeks later.

In the male there is no sexual cycle comparable to the cyclical activity of ovulation in the female. Mature sperm are constantly being made in the testes of the adult male and stored there in the duct system.
Fertilization, or Conception. During coitus, semen is ejaculated from the penis into the back of the vagina near the cervix uteri. About a teaspoonful of semen is discharged with each ejaculation, containing several hundred millions of spermatozoa. Of this enormous number of sperm, only one is needed to fertilize the ovum. Yet the obstacles to be overcome are considerable. Many of the sperm are deformed and cannot move. Others are killed by the acid secretions of the vagina (the semen itself is alkaline). The sperm must then swim against the current of secretions flowing out of the uterus.



The sperm swim an average of 0.4 to 2.5 cm (0.1 to 1.0 inch) per minute. When one or more vigorous sperm are able to reach the ovum, which is normally in the outer half of the fallopian tube, fertilization occurs. The head end of the sperm plunges through the thick wall of the ovum, leaving its tail outside. The genetic materials, the chromosomes, are injected into the ovum, where they unite with the chromosomes inherited from the mother (see heredity). The sex of the child is determined at this instant; it depends on the sex chromosome carried by the sperm.

If by chance two ova have been released and are fertilized by two sperm, fraternal (dizygotic) twins are formed. Identical (monozygotic) twins are produced by a single fertilized ovum that divides into two early in its development.
Ovulation and Fertilization. Fertilization typically can occur only (on the average) on 4 days of every menstrual cycle. The mature ovum lives only 1 or 2 days after ovulation, and the sperm have only about the same amount of time before they perish in the female reproductive tract. To fertilize the ovum, coitus must take place within the time that begins 1 or 2 days before ovulation and lasts until 1 or 2 days after ovulation. There is much variation, however, in the time when ovulation occurs. Most women ovulate between 12 and 16 days after the beginning of the last period, but others ovulate as early as 8 or as late as 20 days after the last period began.
Pregnancy. The ovum, now known as a zygote, begins to change immediately after fertilization. The membrane surrounding it becomes impenetrable to other sperm. Soon the zygote is dividing into a cluster of two, then four, then more cells, as it makes its way down the fallopian tube toward the uterus. At first it looks like a bunch of grapes. By the time it reaches the uterus, in 3 to 5 days, the cells are formed in the shape of a minute ball, the blastocyst, which is hollow on the inside with an internal bump at one side where the embryo will form. The blastocyst quickly buries itself in the lining of the uterus (implantation). Occasionally implantation takes place not in the uterine lining, but elsewhere, producing an ectopic pregnancy.



As soon as the blastocyst is implanted, its wall begins to change into a structure that eventually develops into the placenta. Through the placenta the fetus secures nourishment from the mother and rids itself of waste products. Essentially the placenta is a filtering mechanism by which the mother's blood is brought close to the fetal blood without the actual mixing of blood cells.

During the early stages of pregnancy, the fetus grows at an extremely rapid rate. The mother's body must undergo profound changes to support this organism. The muscles of the uterus grow, vaginal secretions change, the blood volume expands, the work of the heart increases, the mother gains weight, the breasts prepare for nursing, and other adjustments are made throughout the mother's body.
Reproduction.
asexual reproduction reproduction without the fusion of germ cells.
assisted reproduction assisted fertility.
cytogenic reproduction production of a new individual from a single germ cell or zygote.
sexual reproduction reproduction by the fusion of female and male germ cells or by the development of an unfertilized ovum.
somatic reproduction production of a new individual from a multicellular fragment by fission or budding.

re·pro·duc·tion

(rē'prō-dŭk'shŭn),
1. The total process by which organisms produce offspring. Synonym(s): generation (1) , procreation
2. The recall and presentation in the mind of the elements of a former impression.
[L. re-, again, + pro-duco, pp. -ductus, to lead forth, produce]

reproduction

(rē′prə-dŭk′shən)
n.
1. The act of reproducing or the condition or process of being reproduced.
2. Biology The sexual or asexual process by which organisms generate new individuals of the same kind; procreation.

reproduction

Gynecology Conceiving; making babies. See Asexual reproduction, Assisted reproduction, Teratogenicity.

re·pro·duc·tion

(rē'prō-dŭk'shŭn)
1. The recall and presentation in the mind of the elements of a former impression.
2. The total process by which organisms produce offspring.
Synonym(s): generation (1) , procreation.
[L. re-, again, + pro-duco, pp. -ductus, to lead forth, produce]

reproduction

Any process by which an organism gives rise to a new individual. Most biological reproduction is cellular and asexual and occurs by chromosomal duplication followed by elongation and splitting of the cell into two individual cells identical to the parent. Sexual reproduction is more complex and involves the production of specialized body cells called gametes which have experienced two stages of shuffling and redistribution of chromosomal segments and a reduction to half the full number of CHROMOSOMES (haploid). In the fusion of the male and female gametes, sperm and egg respectively (fertilization), the full complement of chromosomes is made up. The potential new individual now has a GENOME different from that of either parent and will differ in many respects. A fertilized ovum divides rapidly and repeatedly, but the reproduced cells do not usually separate, but continue to duplicate and specialize until a new individual is formed. Sometimes, after the first or second division, the reproduced cells separate to form genetically identical siblings.

reproduction

  1. the production of young.
  2. the mechanisms by which organisms give rise to others of the same kind. See SEXUAL REPRODUCTION, ASEXUAL REPRODUCTION.

re·pro·duc·tion

(rē'prō-dŭk'shŭn)
1. The total process by which organisms produce offspring.
2. The recall and presentation in the mind of the elements of a former impression.
[L. re-, again, + pro-duco, pp. -ductus, to lead forth, produce]
References in periodicals archive ?
I think Edelman is right to identify the ways in which reproduction underwrites the very logic of the social, although many scholars have voiced potent critiques of his argument.
"making one or more copies of a work, or a sound recording, or a broadcast program, or any performance, in any manner or form, including permanent or temporary electronic downloading or storage, regardless of the method or device used in the reproduction".
An inclusive and diverse feminist presence is needed in all areas of policy, and assisted human reproduction is no exception.
- Reproduction of Recorded Media in Turkey: Industry Report
However, evn if the losses of fertile individuals in reproduction period are not the same every year, they must be positively correlated to losses in youngsters, since both segments of population live together, under the same ecological conditions.
In graphic reproduction process the forth color, black, as the fourth separation (printing form) is appended to primary color separations, forming autotypic color process.
The aim of this research was to detect the differences in color image reproduction when using cRT monitor and inkjet printer as the output reproduction devices.
coli and the New Science of Life (2008), says new evidence from a colony of New Zealand snails explains how sex simply improves the fitness of a population more reliably than asexual reproduction.
Of the seven substances concerned, three are classified as toxic to reproduction, one as carcinogenic and three as persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) or very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB).
Devils Lake and the Missouri River from Garrison Dam to Lake Oahe had exceptional natural walleye reproduction in 2008, according to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department's annual fall reproduction survey.
Written and photographed by Dennis Adler, Black Powder Revolvers--Reproductions & Replicas covers the wide variety of reproduction black powder revolvers manufactured since 1959.
This first stanza from the poem "Sex," by Arthur Guiterman (1871-1943) raises some important fundamental questions about reproduction. Guiterman is describing a common type of reproduction--cell division.