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Foetal Cell Development

Volume 977: debated on Tuesday 29 January 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list all the research currently being undertaken in the United Kingdom on foetal cell development with the amount and source of funding for each project; if he is satisfied with the extent and quality of basic medical research of this type in the United Kingdom; what plans he has for its development; and if he will make a statement.

Foetal cell development is not a term recognised by the Medical Research Council or my scientific advisers and I have directed my inquiries to research into foetal development. Under the arrangements covering the commissioning of research on the Medical Research Council—the main Government-funded body supporting research in this field—the Health Departments have identified the need for more research on the intrinsic and extrinsic factors influencing foetal development and for improvements in the techniques of monitoring.The Medical Research Council in supporting research relating to foetal development as listed below; the figures shown are estimated annual expenditure. The council is also supporting a large amount of work on embryonic development in non-mammals which is relevant to the topic, but no expenditure figure can be ascribed. Other research supported by Government funds is also conducted in the universities and hospital medical schools. The details are not recorded centrally and therefore details of expenditure are not available.

PROJECTS SUPPORTED BY THE MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Establishment and Title of Project
MRC Cell Biophysics Unit, London
Organisation of nervous systems, in particular the vertebrate retina and its development.£53,959
Clinical Research Centre
(i)Division of Anaesthesia
Effects of waste anaesthetic gases on operating theatre staff and teratogenic effects in animals, and control of contamination.£24,345.
(ii) Division of Comparative Medicine
Fetal and neonatal development; the effect of infections in pregnancy; changes in plasma protein ratios.£82,738.
(iii) Division of Radiology
Study of intrauterine growth of the fetus by ultrasonography: early identification of fetal distress, abnormalities and "small for date" babies.£13,338.
(iv) Division of Radiology
Closure of ductus venosus in piglets.£9,953.
(v) Division of Perinatal Medicine
A study of the clinical correlates of the poorly growing fetus.£11,708.
(vi) Division of Perinatal Medicine
A study of animal models of the poorly growing fetus.£28,580.
MRC Clinical and Population Cytogenetics Unit, Edinburgh
(i) Cytogenetics of cells from amniotic fluid and spontaneous abortuses: influence of environmental factors.£20,377.
(ii) Cell interaction, kinetics pattern formation, homeostasis and morphogenesis in cultures of normal and malignant cells.£16,686.
MRC Mammalian Development Unit, London
(i) Growth regulation and determination of form in the post-implantation period.£17,238.
(ii) Changes in gene and chromosome activity in early embryos, in vivo and in vitro.£42,159.
(iii) Nutritional requirements of pre-and post-implantation embryos in vitro.£2,413.
(iv) Low temperature storage of mammalian embryos.£14,287.
(v) Development consequences of parthenogenesis and ploidy changes.£16,817.
(vi) Differentiation of haematopoietic, pigmentary and reproductive systems in experimental chimaeras.£21,602.
Reproductive Biology Unit, Edinburgh
In vitro fertilisation.£84,341.
Department of Child Health, University of Manchester
Vulnerable periods in developing Brain.£50,628.
Department of Histopathology, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London
Clinical, biological and pathological studies on peptide hormone production by endocrine cells of the apud series.£27,554.
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford
Analysis of mammalian development by study of embryos and teratocarcinomas.£48,777.
Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge
Role of membrane changes in the regulation of early embryonic differentiation.£1,000.
Department of Pathology, University of Bristol
Immunological Studies on Cell surface determinants during early embryogenesis and placental ontogeny.£9,492.
Department of Anatomy, University College, London
Structure and mechanical properties of developing smooth muscles.£5,131.
Paediatric Research Unit, Guy's Hospital Medical School, London
Genetic and environmental factors responsible for the appearance of neural tube defects in curly tail mice.£5,404.
Department of Midwifery, University of Glasgow
Intrauterine growth retardation—its detection and detailed study by ultrasonic measuring techniques.£9,247.
Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge
Changes in proteins during first steps of mammalian embryonic cell differentiation.£8,005.
Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge
Molecular control mechanisms in early mammalian development.£11,879.
Department of Biochemistry, University of Dundee
Regulation of detoxicating enzymes in developing mammalian tissues.£15,755.

The commissioning arrangements provide for notification by the Health Departments of their needs and priorities for research and the whole field of medicine is kept under review.

Following is the information:

Establishment and Title of Project

Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford

Chromosome unbalance and gametic and zygotic viability in the mouse.£12,588.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Hospital Medical School, London

The effect of amniocentesis and liquor drainage on pulmonary development in the macaque monkey.£5,239.

Department of Anatomy and Embryology, University College, London

Factors controlling early development of nerve and muscle cells.£10,609.

Department of Clinical Haematology, University College Hospital Medical School, London

The study of human embryonic red cells.£10,112.

Nuffield Institute for Medical Research, University of Oxford

Amniotic fluid—its regulation and use for nutrient and drug administration to fetus.£8,082.

Department of Anatomy, University of Dundee

Further steps in mapping the developing mouse telencephalon.£4,809.

Department of Anatomy, University of Leicester

Nutritional mechanisms in the early rat embryo and their susceptibility to modification by teratogens.£8,702.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Aberdeen

The influence of steroids on the development of the human fetal brain in mid-pregnancy.£6,126.

Department of Oral Medicine and Oral Pathology, University of Edinburgh

Morphogenetic influences and patterns of developmental stability in the mouse vertebral column.£3,326.

Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge

Compaction, the cytocortex and preimplantation differentiation.£7,117

Department of Human Anatomy, University of Oxford

Studies on the establishment and early development of basic body organisation in normal and abnormal mammalian embryos.£8,205.

Department of Physiology, University of Edinburgh

Investigation of the role of cytoplasmic free ionised calcium in cellular mechanisms of morphogenesis.£1,118.

Department of Zoology, University of Bristol

The control of neuronal growth in a peripheral sensory network in vivo and in vitro.£560.

Department of Physiology, University of Cambridge

Development of the rat and mouse embryo and placenta in culture.£10,946.

Middlesex Hospital Medical School. London

The cellular basis of cartilage growth.£9,529.

Department of Histopathology, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London

Effects of ethyl alcohol on cell acquisition, migration and differentiation in the developing brain.£6,672.

Wellcome Institute of Comparative Physiology, Zoological Society of London

Developmental and reproductive physiology of primates.£38,703.

Department of Zoology, University of Durham

The development of tandem-linked muscle spindles in cat neck and hind limb muscles.£4,115.

Department of Biology, University of Southampton

The role of cell and tissue interactions in the differentiation of cephalic neural chest cells.£6,125.

Animal Research Station, ARC Institute of Animal Physiology, Babraham, Cambridge

Biochemical changes during maturation of the mammalian oocyte and their significance for normal embryonic development.£7,378.

Nuffield Institute for Medical Research, University of Oxford

Fetal Physiology.£13,183.

Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford

Studies on fetal growth rate and the long term effects of obstetric and medical care in at risk pregnancies.£32,068.

Department of Zoology, University of Hull

Role of the thymus in embryonically induced transplantation tolerance.£5,726.

Department of Paediatrics and Neonatal Medicine, Institute of Child Health, London

Control of fetal lung growth and development: a combined experimental and post-mortem study.£17,726.

Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Oxford

Fetal growth and development.£36,514.

Department of Pathology, University of Edinburgh

The contribution of chromosome abnormalities to stillbirths, neonatal deaths and abortions over 20 weeks gestation.£10,277.

Department of Clinical Haematology, University College Hospital Medical School, London

Studies of normal and abnormal red cells.£35,875.

Department of Physiology, University of Cambridge

Development of whole-embryo culture methods for studying teratological problems.£7,399.
Total Support£982,242.