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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.


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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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October 24, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts



Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific multisystem disorder of unknown origin.
The disorder affects approximately 5 to 7 percent of pregnancies and is a significant cause
of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. It is defined by the new onset of elevated blood
pressure and proteinuria after 20 weeks of gestation. It is considered severe if blood pressure and
proteinuria are increased substantially or symptoms of end-organ damage (including fetal growth
restriction) occur. At this time, there is no single reliable, cost-effective screening test for preeclampsia, and there are no well-established measures for primary prevention.

WHO Child Growth Charts

       

New Test May Uncover Deadly Hypertension in Pregnancy

Novel biomarker diagnostic test may help in the diagnosis of pre-eclampsia, a complex condition that can be fatal if undiagnosed during pregnancy

Collaborators at Cottage Health System and UC Santa Barbara's College of Engineering have identified biomarkers that may yield a revolutionary diagnostic test for pre-eclampsia, a complex and potentially life-threatening hypertensive condition affecting 5% of pregnancies worldwide.


The most common dangerous complication of pregnancy,
pre-eclampsia is potentially fatal and often mimics or
is confused with other pregnancy-related conditions
such as swelling, gastric pain, and high blood pressure.
Pre-eclampsia can lead to eclampsia, which carries a
maternal mortality rate of 1.8 percent worldwide.


Through a partnership funded by the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Research Grant Program, the study was led by Dr. Alex Soffici, perinatologist with Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, and Patrick Daugherty, professor and vice-chair of the chemical engineering department at UCSB. Plasma samples were collected over a period of two years from both normal-outcome and pre-eclampsia pregnancy patients at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, and then analyzed by UCSB graduate researcher Serra Elliott to identify candidate biomarkers.

“We are seeing the early stages of something that could be quite big,” said Soffici. “Therapeutics for pre-eclampsia are on the horizon.”

The group discovered that certain antibodies are present in the blood of patients with pre-eclampsia, but not in women with healthy pregnancies. Their results suggest that this new diagnostic test could effectively distinguish pre-eclampsia syndrome from conditions with similar symptoms. The collaborators’ research continues in an ongoing study.


"We developed a separation process to sift through
enormous numbers of distinct molecules present
in blood to identify those few that are uniquely
present in patients with pre-eclampsia
.
Since our process simultaneously identifies
biochemical reagents that can capture the disease
biomarkers, there is an opportunity to create
an effective diagnostic test for this prevalent disorder
and possibly for other diseases where definitive tests
are not yet available.”

Patrick Daugherty
professor, vice-chair, Department of chemical engineering
University of California at Santa Barbara


Elliott, lead scientist on the project, recently presented their findings at a conference for the International Society of the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy in Geneva, Switzerland. “There are very few groups in the world working on this technology and we have found it to be exactly what the international research community was looking for. This project has great promise,” commented Soffici.

Soffici added, “We are grateful to the Cottage Health System administration and to UCSB leaders for recognizing the great value in cooperation between clinicians and researchers, and for breaking down many of the barriers that previously existed for this kind of project.”

Original article: http://engineering.ucsb.edu/news/663