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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 in 1993 as a first generation internet teaching tool consolidating human embryology teaching for first year medical students.

Today, The Visible Embryo is linked to over 600 educational institutions and is viewed by more than 1 million visitors each month. The field of early embryology has grown to include the identification of the stem cell as not only critical to organogenesis in the embryo, but equally critical to organ function and repair in the adult human.

The identification and understanding of genetic malfunction, inflammatory responses, and the progression in chronic disease, begins with a grounding in primary cellular and systemic functions manifested in the study of the early embryo.

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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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November 27, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts

"Within two to four hours of preterm babies receiving
a blood transfusion, we have seen elevated levels of
cytokines and chemokines - signaling cells -
that stimulate inflammatory responses in the body

Dr. Michael Stark
University of Adelaide's Robinson Institute
School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health

WHO Child Growth Charts


Better Blood Transfusions for Preterm Babies

Results of new research from the University of Adelaide are a promising step forward in helping to improve the quality of life-saving blood transfusions for preterm babies, by reducing the likelihood of adverse inflammatory responses to the blood

Blood transfusions are among the most common
medical procedures experienced by preterm babies,
who are often anemic and suffer blood loss.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide's Robinson Institute studied 28 preterm babies (at 28 weeks' gestation or less) who were given packed red blood cell transfusions. The results of this study are now published in the journal Pediatric Research.

"Blood transfusions are a safe and life-saving medical procedure - they are an important part of modern-day medical care," says the lead author, Dr Michael Stark from the University of Adelaide's Robinson Institute.

"It has been suggested that blood transfusions themselves
may be associated with medical complications that are
unrelated to the reason for which the transfusion
is given, and we don't really know why that is.

"These associations include bronchopulmonary
dysplasia and necrotizing entercolitis, inflammatory
conditions that affect the lungs and gut
of very preterm babies."

Dr. Michael Stark
University of Adelaide's Robinson Institute
School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health

The researchers have found a potential mechanism associated with the inflammatory response in the body.

"Within two to four hours of preterm babies receiving
a blood transfusion, we have seen elevated levels of
cytokines and chemokines - signaling cells -
that stimulate inflammatory responses in the body

"We believe that the bioactive components of packed
red blood cell transfusions are initiating or amplifying
these inflammatory processes in the body.

"We hope that by better understanding how the body
responds to the blood, we can make improvements
to blood transfusions that will reduce the likelihood
of inflammatory responses. In this way, the patient
will benefit from a life-saving procedure and also experience less complications as a result
of that procedure.

"More research is now needed to determine exactly
how this response is triggered, and how we might
be able to prevent it."

Dr. Michael Stark

The publication of these research results coincides with the Robinson Institute's Great Expectations for Life campaign, an awareness and fundraising campaign to support research into preterm birth. For more information visit the website: www.greatexpectationsforlife.org

Original article: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/news/news57901.html