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First-ever 3-D stress map of developing embryonic heart sheds light on why defects form

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31—As a human fetus develops, its heart has to keep pace with the new body's ever-growing demands. Much of this is controlled by following genetic blueprints, but the embryonic heart also matures in response to the intense stresses of pumping blood. For the first time, researchers have been able to visualize in 3-D the stresses induced by flowing blood in an embryonic heart.
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