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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.

The National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development awarded Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovative Research Grants to develop The Visible Embryo. Initally designed to evaluate the internet as a teaching tool for first year medical students, The Visible Embryo is linked to over 600 educational institutions and is viewed by more than ' million visitors each month.


WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform
The World Health Organization (WHO) has created a new Web site to help researchers, doctors and patients obtain reliable information on high-quality clinical trials. Now you can go to one website and search all registers to identify clinical trial research underway around the world!



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Disclaimer: The Visible Embryo web site is provided for your general information only. The information contained on this site should not be treated as a substitute for medical, legal or other professional advice. Neither is The Visible Embryo responsible or liable for the contents of any websites of third parties which are listed on this site.
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Pregnancy Timeline by SemestersFetal 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 HemispheresFemale Reproductive SystemEnd of Embryonic PeriodEnd of Embryonic PeriodFirst Thin Layer of Skin AppearsThird TrimesterSecond TrimesterFirst TrimesterFertilizationDevelopmental Timeline
Click weeks 0 - 40 and follow fetal growth
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June 10, 2011--------News Archive

Hormone Test Helps Predict Success In IVF
Women with high levels of the hormone AMH produced more eggs for in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures, and were more likely to have pregnancies.

Fragile X Protein Acts as Toggle Switch in Brain Cells
Research shows how the protein missing in fragile X syndrome – the most common inherited form of intellectual disability – acts as a molecular toggle switch in brain cells.


June 9, 2011--------News Archive

Early Light Refines the Brain’s Vision Circuitry
Light and sight are connected from the beginning.

Molecule Shared by Nervous and Vascular Systems
IRCM researchers show that a key molecule of the vascular system is essential for the formation of neural circuits.


June 8, 2011--------News Archive

Fetal Exposure to BPA Changes Uterus in Primates
Oral intake of BPA altered expression of HOX and WNT genes which are critical for uterine development.

Pregnancy Weight Gain Risks Fat Baby, Child, Adult
Women who gain too much weight during pregnancy tend to have newborns with a high amount of body fat, regardless of the mother's weight before pregnancy.


June 7, 2011--------News Archive

Exposure to BPA Has Been Underestimated
New research results indicate BPA accumulates more rapidly within the body than previously thought.

Pregnant Women Can Prevent Excess Weight Gain with Simple Steps
Women who did not self-weigh gained an average of 15.2 pounds.


June 6, 2011--------News Archive

Programming Disease by Gender
Excess maternal stress can program adverse health effects through multiple generations, especially in boys.

Birth Control Pill for Men On the Horizon?
But to make the pill a reality, research needs to show that the compound is safe, effective – and reversible.

Finding How Pre-gut Cells Become Focused
Research has outlined exactly how specific cells in sea-urchin embryos become the endoderm, the domain that eventually forms the gut.

Found, Genetic Mutation Causing Excess Hair Growth
Scientists in Beijing, China, have discovered a chromosome mutation responsible for a very rare condition in which people grow excess hair all over their bodies.

WHO Child Growth Charts

Exposure in the womb to bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical widely used in the food and medical industries, causes changes in female primates' uterus development, new research suggests.

The results were presented Tuesday at the 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston of the The Endocrine Society.

"Previous studies have shown that BPA can affect the reproductive tract. However, because the studies were done in rodents, it was uncertain if this would also be true in humans," said Carmen Williams, MD, PhD, a clinical investigator with the National Institute of Environmental Sciences (NIEHS), Research Triangle Park, N.C.

The new study used the rhesus monkey, a species that is very similar to humans in regard to pregnancy and fetal development, said Williams, a study co-author.

She and her colleagues conducted the research at NIEHS and the California National Primate Research Center in Davis, which co-funded the study with the NIEHS. During a period that represented the third trimester of human pregnancy, the investigators gave BPA to 12 pregnant monkeys, each carrying a single female fetus.

In the first year of the experiment, six monkeys received BPA orally in a fruit treat, at a dose of 400 micrograms per kilogram of body weight daily, the researchers reported. During the second year, six additional pregnant monkeys received BPA through capsules implanted subcutaneously (below the skin), for a daily dose of 100 micrograms per kilogram. Both forms of BPA resulted in a BPA level in the blood that is close to levels normally found in adult women, according to the authors' abstract.

The investigators analyzed the uterus of each offspring for gene expression. Oral BPA altered expression of HOX and WNT genes that are critical for uterine development, they found. They are still analyzing the data for the animals that received subcutaneous BPA, Williams said.

Differences also appeared in the extent of development of the cells lining the uterine cavity in BPA-exposed animals but not in a control group of unexposed monkeys.

"The long-term effects of BPA exposure on reproductive tract development are unknown," Williams said. "However, this research supports the recommendation that pregnant women should limit their exposure to BPA."

Experts recommend minimizing BPA exposure by using BPA-free products when possible and reducing consumption of canned foods, many of which are lined with BPA-containing epoxy resin.

The study findings were presented by Kathryn Calhoun, MD, an NIEHS research fellow based at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.