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Welcome to The Visible Embryo, a comprehensive educational resource on human development from conception to birth.

The Visible Embryo provides visual references for changes in fetal development throughout pregnancy and can be navigated via fetal development or maternal changes.

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Pregnancy Timeline by SemestersFemale Reproductive SystemFertilizationThe Appearance of SomitesFirst TrimesterSecond TrimesterThird TrimesterFetal liver is producing blood cellsHead may position into pelvisBrain convolutions beginFull TermWhite fat begins to be madeWhite fat begins to be madeHead may position into pelvisImmune system beginningImmune system beginningPeriod of rapid brain growthBrain convolutions beginLungs begin to produce surfactantSensory brain waves begin to activateSensory brain waves begin to activateInner Ear Bones HardenBone marrow starts making blood cellsBone marrow starts making blood cellsBrown fat surrounds lymphatic systemFetal sexual organs visibleFinger and toe prints appearFinger and toe prints appearHeartbeat can be detectedHeartbeat can be detectedBasic Brain Structure in PlaceThe Appearance of SomitesFirst Detectable Brain WavesA Four Chambered HeartBeginning Cerebral HemispheresEnd of Embryonic PeriodEnd of Embryonic PeriodFirst Thin Layer of Skin AppearsThird TrimesterDevelopmental Timeline
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September 11, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts


More steps are needed to repair genetic damage than previously thought.


WHO Child Growth Charts

       

Protecting Genes, One Molecule At a Time

An international team of scientists have shown how cells prioritise the repair of genes containing potentially dangerous damage, at an unprecedented level of detail

The research, published in the journal Nature and involving academics from the University of Bristol, the Institut Jacques-Monod in France and Rockefeller University in the US, studied the action of individual molecules in order to understand how cellular repair pathways are triggered.

The genetic information that forms the "instruction booklet" for cells is encoded in the molecular building blocks of DNA, and can be damaged by mutagens such as ultraviolet light or tobacco smoke, as well as by normal "wear and tear" as the cells age. If left unrepaired, such damage can kill the cells or cause them to change their behaviour and perhaps cause disease.


Cells repair themselves by producing proteins
that detect damaged building blocks,
cut them out and replace them
with a new patch of DNA.


Most cells, including those both in bacteria and in humans, contain mechanisms to ensure that genes currently in use are repaired first.

The team, led by Dr Terence Strick of the Institut Jacques Monod, Paris, used single molecules of DNA stretched-out in a magnetic field to observe individual proteins at work in an active, damaged gene.

They found that more steps are needed to repair genetic damage than previously thought; and, that the length of time proteins reading the gene hesitate when they reach damage is critical to the successful handover to proteins that repair the gene.

Dr Nigel Savery from the University's School of Biochemistry, who led the Bristol-based part of the project, said: "Finding out how different parts of the genome are repaired at different rates, is critical to our understanding of processes as diverse as the generation of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, and the patterns of mutations that give rise to cancer.

Studying these processes at the level of single molecules, has allowed us to detect important steps - hidden when large numbers of molecules are studied together."

The work in Bristol was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Research Council (BBSRC), UK.

Paper
"Initiation of transcription-coupled repair characterized at single-molecule resolution" is published online (ahead of print) in the journal Nature on 9 September 2012. doi: 10.1038/nature11430

Kévin Howan1, Abigail J. Smith2, Lars F. Westblade3, Nicolas Joly1, Wilfried Grange1, Sylvain Zorman1, Seth A. Darst3, Nigel J. Savery2 & Terence R. Strick1
1. Institut Jacques Monod, CNRS, UMR 7592, University Paris Diderot, Paris, France.
2. DNA-Protein Interactions Unit, School of Biochemistry, University of Bristol, England
3. The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, USA

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-09/uob-pgo090712.php