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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
Click weeks 0 - 40 and follow fetal growth
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September 13, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts

At Carnegie Stage 23, (2 months post-ovulation) the primary teeth
are at the cap stage, and bones of the palate begin to fuse.
Fingers get longer and toes are no longer webbed.
All digits should be separate and distinct.
Subtle external defects at this stage are reflected in these growth points

WHO Child Growth Charts


Towards Solving a Birth-Defect Mystery

The cellular cause for birth defects of the palate, missing teeth, problems with fingers and toes has been a puzzle for science - which all may be related to the electrical charge of a cell

Now Professor Emily Bates and her biochemistry students at Brigham Young University have placed an important piece of the developmental puzzle in its correct order.

Their study of an ion channel regulating the electrical charge of a cell, shows that blocking this electrical channel disrupts a protein intended to carry differentiation orders to the nucleus.

Without those instructions, cells don’t become what they were supposed to become – be that part of a palate, a tooth or a finger. Though there are various disorders that lead to birth defects, this newly discovered mechanism may be what some syndromes have in common.

The new study is published by the journal Development.

Bates and her graduate student, Giri Dahal, now want to apply the findings toward the prevention of particular birth defects – those caused by fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

“We think this ion channel might
be involved in a few similar disorders.
The important point is that it is
required for protein signaling,
which means that developmental signaling
pathways sense the electrical charge of a cell.
And that’s exciting for many reasons.”

Prof. Emily Bates, Brigham Young University

The new study results might also have implications for the battle against cancer. With cancer, cells are receiving a bad set of instructions to continuously multiply and spread. If a way can be devised to block an ion channel signals, it may be possible to stop cancerous instructions from communicating throughout the cell.

Bates:“This protein signaling pathway is the same one that tells cancer cells to metastasize. We’re planning to test a therapy to specifically block this channel in just the cells that we want to stop.”

Original article: http://news.byu.edu/archive12-sep-birthdefects.aspx