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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.


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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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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December 3, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts


Researchers investigated mice with a modified genetic background which showed
behavioural disorders and brain deposits that are typically associated with
Alzheimer’s disease.


Telemorase and Embryonic Growth

Regulation of Telomerase in Stem Cells and Cancer Cells
New insights from stem cell research can be applied to human tumours

June 27, 2012

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg have gained important insights for stem cell research which are also applicable to human tumours and could lead to the development of new treatments.


As Rolf Kemler’s research group discovered, a molecular link exists
between the telomerase that determines the length of the telomeres
and a signalling pathway known as the Wnt/β-signalling pathway.


Telomeres are the end caps of chromosomes that play a very important role in the stability of the genome. Telomeres in stem cells are long and become shorter during differentiation or with age, but lengthen again in tumour cells.


The Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway controls numerous processes in embryonic
development, such as the formation of the body axis and of organ primordia, and
is particularly active in embryonic and adult stem cells. The β-catenin protein
plays a key role in this signalling pathway. The incorrect regulation or
mutation of β-catenin leads to the development of tumours.


Rolf Kemler’s research group has now shown that β-catenin regulates the telomerase gene directly, and has explained the molecular mechanism at work here. Embryonic stem cells with mutated β-catenin generate more telomerase and have extended telomeres, while cells without β-catenin have low levels of telomerase and have shortened telomeres.

This regulation mechanism can also be found in human cancer cells. These discoveries could lead to the development of a new approach to the treatment of human tumours.








WHO Child Growth Charts

       

Molecular Knock-out Alleviates Alzheimer’s Symptoms in Mice

Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) have identified the enzyme HDAC6 as a possible target for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease


The protein known as HDAC6 impairs
transport processes within the nerve cells.

The scientists observed only mild symptoms of
the disease in mice if the enzyme was not produced.
They propose to block its activity in a targeted
fashion to treat the disease.

Scientists from the DZNE sites in Göttingen and Bonn,
the UMG as well as from the US participated in this
basic research project on Alzheimer’s disease.


The study is published in EMBO Molecular Medicine.

Researchers led by Prof. André Fischer, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University Medical Center Gottingen and Site Speaker of the DZNE in Göttingen, investigated mice with a modified genetic background which showed behavioural disorders and brain deposits that are typically associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

They experimented further with another group of mice by removing the genes responsible for the production of the HDAC6 enzyme (histone deacetylase 6).

This intervention proved to be effective: while these mice also exhibited the pathological features of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain, their behaviour was significantly ameliorated.

"The animals’ ability to learn and to find their spatial bearings was relatively normal," says Prof. Fischer. "Their cognitive abilities were fully comparable to those of healthy mice."

Improved cellular traffic

In the researchers’ view, this effect is at least partly attributable to the fact that important transport processes within the nerve cells are facilitated when the HDAC6 enzyme is not around. This meant in particular that the cells’ power plants, also known as "mitochondria", can travel to their final destinations.

Fischer: "It is known that in various neurodegenerative diseases cellular transport is no longer functional. The substances that are to be transported along axons are left behind. Measures which improve trafficking seem to have a positive effect."

Possible target for therapy?


The researchers’ findings suggest that the
HDAC6 enzyme could be a possible target
for therapies against Alzheimer’s disease.

However, treatments would require an active
substance that can specifically target and disable
the enzyme. Unfortunately, active substances
known to date are too unspecific.


Prof. Fischer explains that their application resembles a broad-spectrum treatment. "We don’t know precisely what is the therapeutic effect of the inhibitors, since they simultaneously block several enzymes from the histone deacetylase family," he says. "And we still don’t know enough about how the individual enzymes function."

Improving the accuracy of the inhibitors is therefore the aim of further research. "We will continue to work toward this goal. On one hand, we want to improve our understanding of how the various histone deacetylases function. On the other hand, we want to test inhibitors that operate in a more targeted manner," says Prof. André Fischer.

Original article: http://www.dzne.de/en/about-us/public-relations/meldungen/2012/press-release-no-27.html