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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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December 13, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts


"We were researching chick embryos, but the process of development in humans is very similar. However while the gastrulation stage takes place within just a few hours in chicks, it takes a little longer in humans and happens in the third week of pregnancy."

Professor Andrea Münsterberg, school of Biological Sciences at UEA







WHO Child Growth Charts

       

Congenital Heart Defects Could Have Their Origin During Very Early Pregnancy

The origins of congenital heart defects could be traced right back to the first stages of embryonic development

Findings published by University of East Anglia (UEA) researchers in the journal PLOS ONE, show that the beginnings of important parts of the heart can be traced to very early stages of embryo development. The research has been funded by the British Heart Foundation.


Biologists investigated chicken eggs at the gastrulation
stage - between 12 and 14 hours after fertilisation.

They found that some cells would go on to create the
anterior and secondary heart fields - after the initial
formation of a primitive linear heart tube.

This method of understanding the correlation between
the embryonic origin of cells and later stages of
development is called 'fate mapping'.

The addition of these early cells to the growing heart
is crucial as it allows the heart to develop and form
other important structures including the outflow tract.


The research is the first to 'fate map' the origin of the cells which contribute to the outflow tract in early stage embryos.

Many cardiac malformations present in newborns are associated with the outflow tract and it is hoped that understanding some of the underlying causes may be helpful to affected families.

Prof Andrea Münsterberg, from the school of Biological Sciences at UEA, said: "We were researching chick embryos, but the process of development in humans is very similar. However while the gastrulation stage takes place within just a few hours in chicks, it takes a little longer in humans and happens in the third week of pregnancy.

"It is likely that what we learn in chick embryos can be applied to human development. The next step in our research will be to identify the factors, which guide these early cardiac progenitor cells to the right place at the correct time."

'Fate mapping identifies the origin of SHF/AHF progenitors in the chick primitive streak' by Esther Camp (UEA), Susanne Dietrich (University of Portsmouth) and Andrea Münsterberg (UEA) is published by PLOS ONE on December 13, 2012.

Original article:http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-12/uoea-chd121212.php