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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
Click weeks 0 - 40 and follow fetal growth
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December 18, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts


The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is a commonly used model organism in the field of ageing research. It develops from an egg to adult through four larval stages. These developmental stages are controlled by a developmental clock.







WHO Child Growth Charts

       

Reproduction and Life Span Intertwined

Removing a roundworm's germ cells prolongs the animal's life

The gonad is well known to be important for reproduction but also affects animal life span. Removal of germ cells – the sperm and egg producing cells – increases longevity of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms were a mystery.


Now scientists at the Cologne-based Max Planck
Institute for Biology of Ageing, have discovered
that germ cell removal flips a “molecular switch”
that extends the life span by using components
of a “developmental clock.”


The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is a commonly used model organism in the field of ageing research. It develops from an egg to adult through four larval stages. These developmental stages are controlled by a developmental clock.


Yidong Shen and colleagues working in the department
of Director Adam Antebi used a laser to remove
the germ cells.

They found that the remaining gonadal cells trigger
production of a steroid hormone called dafachronic acid.

Dafachronic acid activates so-called microRNAs,
which work as tiny molecular switches causing changes
in gene expression that promote longevity.

Interestingly, this same steroid hormone-microRNA
switch was previously shown by Antebi and colleagues
to be part of the developmental clock. Thus, the loss
of the germ cells ultimately causes the worm to use
developmental timers to put in motion
a life-prolonging programme.


In uncovering these findings, the Max Planck scientists have added some more pieces to the puzzle of describing and understanding how longevity is regulated.


The question now is whether humans also possess
a similar microRNA-controlled switch system.


Abstract found on the Max Planc Institute for Biology of Ageing site - "A "molecular switch" regulates developmental processes in the roundworm."

Full citation available NIH Public Access.

Original article: http://www.mpg.de/6696558/reproduction-lifespan