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The placenta is a fascinating organ, which allows communication between mother and foetus through the release of bubble-like vesicles. Could the messages within these vesicles provide an early warning of diseases such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia? Scientists in the Nuffield Department of Women's & Reproductive Health are finding out.

New Oxford Sparks animation: How do unborn babies and mothers communicate via the placenta?

The human placenta is a fascinating organ - it genetically belongs to the developing foetus, but it is not rejected by the mother. It is also a transient human organ, meaning it grows in the body, and then leaves it. We have all been attached to one at some point, but what did our placenta actually do for us?

Find out more and watch the animation on the Oxford Sparks website