Currently, I am in an animal development class at UW-Madison. I’ve found a very striking similarity between Chinese and Western medicine in regards to how an embryo develops. It all begins with the kidneys. In general, mammalian embryo’s gonadal development also includes the development of a glomerulus (kidney). The kidneys are one of the first organs to develop. In Chinese medicine all channels originate from the kidneys. The kidneys are also our supply of Yin and Yang prior to and at conception (referred to as Heavenly essence). Our Earthly essence is our Yin and Yang supply that comes from food and drink, and the strength of our Spleen and Stomach Qi is vital for that food and drink to be converted into Yin, Yang, Qi, and blood. Returning to our Heavenly essence (Yin and Yang), I want to make note that we can look at the uniting of sperm and egg as a uniting of Yang and Yin. On a molecular level, each gamete (sperm/Yang and egg/Yin) contains genetic material that, upon fertilization, directs embryonic development at all stages. We need both Yin and Yang to generate a living organism, and that initial Yin and Yang originates within the kidneys. Thus, from my understanding we could look at the Chinese kidney as holding all the potential of our system’s genetic material.