Welcome to The Visible Embryo

Home- - -History-- -Bibliography- -Pregnancy Timeline- --Prescription Drugs in Pregnancy- -- Pregnancy Calculator- --Female Reproductive System- News Alerts -Contact

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!



Home

History

Bibliography

Pregnancy Timeline

Prescription Drug Effects on Pregnancy

Pregnancy Calculator

Female Reproductive System

Contact The Visible Embryo

News Archive
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.
Content protected under a Creative Commons License.

No dirivative works may be made or used for commercial purposes.

Return To Top Of Page
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
Search artcles published since 2007

October 31, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts


Figure A: Scientists expose the quail to alcohol at a stage called gastrulation,
when the embryo is changing from two sheets of cells to a multi-layered organism.



Figure B: This is a map of the shear stress on the developing quail heart at four evenly spaced time points during a heart cycle. Red indicates areas of greatest stress.





Figure C : The bulge on the middle left side of the the developing quail embryo is the heart.

Image Credit for Figures A, B: Biomedical Optics Express

WHO Child Growth Charts

       

Birth Defect Triggers in an Embryo Heart

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have found a way to create three-dimensional maps of the stress that circulating blood places on the developing heart in an animal model – a key to understanding triggers of heart defects

The team has begun testing the technology to uncover how alcohol, drugs and other factors set off events that result in defects found in newborn humans.


Passing blood cells drag on the endothelial cells
that line the growing heart, a phenomenon called
shear stress, which has been linked to changes in
gene expression that results in defects, most often
in the heart valves. But precisely how they're
connected is unclear.

"Alcohol exposure may affect shear stress by
modifying the heart rate, but it may also involve
vigor and/or timing of heart cell contractions.
Now that we have the tool,
we can start to figure that out."

Andrew Rollins
associate professor of biomedical engineering
and senior author of the new study


"We're analyzing early and late development of the heart and trying to make the connections that result in valve dysfunction," said Lindsy M. Peterson, a PhD student in Rollins' lab and lead author. Their work is published in the current online issue of the Optical Society of America's journal Biomedical Optics Express.

The pair teamed with research assistant professor Michael W. Jenkins; senior research associate Shi Gu; Lee Barwick, an undergraduate researcher now at Brigham Young University; and Michiko Watanabe, a professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.

To look at the structure of the developing heart and blood flow, the researchers modified a technology called Doppler optical coherence tomography. Called OCT for short, they shine an infrared laser on the heart.

The reflections measured at various depths are used to create a three-dimensional image in much the same manner submariners use sonar to picture their surroundings in the deep sea. But the researchers add the dimension of time, creating movies of blood flow through the structures, needed to map shear stress.


They take their first images at two days, during a
stage of heart development called cardiac looping.

This is when the simple straight tube that's an
embryo heart turns clockwise into a helix,
forming the beginnings of two atria
and two ventricles.

They take more images at three days
and again at eight days,
when the septum, the wall between the left
and right sides of the heart, has formed.


Working with Ganga Karunamuni, a pediatrics research associate at the school of medicine, the team is now pursuing a slate of experiments testing the quail heart model's response to alcohol exposure and will also test exposure to mental health drugs called selective serotonin receptor inhibitors. Alone or together, they can alter shear stress.


They are exposing the model to alcohol at a stage
called gastrulation, when the embryo changes from
two sheets of cells to a multi-layered organism.

This is a critical stage for induction of birth defects,
Peterson said. In humans, it's an early stage when
a woman may not know that she is pregnant.


Rollins said clinical applications are a long way off but the team has begun talking about possibilities.

Rollins: "If it became feasible to screen a fetus for abnormal heart function, it might be possible to intervene with drugs, with gene therapy."

Or, by using non-invasive pulses of infrared light to make the heart contract on demand – another technology the team is developing with clinical colleagues in Pediatric Cardiology– to prevent or treat defects before birth.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-10/cwru-fto103012.php