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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
Search artcles published since 2007

December 25, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts


Our research focuses on mechanisms underlying the regulation of gene expression
and how these mechanisms go awry in human diseases.

Most of our research is directed at understanding how alternative splicing is regulated
and integrated with other layers of gene expression to control biological processes.

For example, we have recently discovered alternative splicing "switches" that play
fundamental roles in the control of embryonic stem cell pluripotency –and in the differentiation of neurons from neural precursor cells.

Nuno Barbosa-Morais, lead author, computational biologist, University of Toronto
Faculty of Medicine's Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research




WHO Child Growth Charts

       

Uncovering Major Evolutionary Differences Among Species

University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine researchers have uncovered a genetic basis for fundamental differences between humans and other vertebrates that could also help explain why humans are susceptible to diseases not found in other species

Scientists have wondered why vertebrate species, which look and behave very differently from one another, nevertheless share very similar repertoires of genes. For example, despite obvious physical differences, humans and chimpanzees share a nearly identical set of genes.

The study was published in the December 21 issue of Science.


The team sequenced and compared the composition of
hundreds of thousands of genetic messages in equivalent
organs, such as brain, heart and liver, from 10
different vertebrate species, ranging from human to frog.

They found that alternative splicing — a process by
which a single gene can give rise to multiple proteins —
has dramatically changed the structure and complexity
of genetic messages during vertebrate evolution.


The results suggest that differences in the ways genetic messages are spliced have played a major role in the evolution of fundamental characteristics of species. However, the same process that makes species look different from one another could also account for differences in their disease susceptibility.


"The same genetic mechanisms responsible for a species'
identity could help scientists understand why humans
are prone to certain diseases such as Alzheimer's and
particular types of cancer not found in other species
.
Our research may lead to the design of improved
approaches to study and treat human diseases."

Nuno Barbosa-Morais, the study's lead author and a computational biologist in U of T Faculty of Medicine's Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research.

One of the team's major findings is that the alternative
splicing process is more complex in humans and other
primates as compared to species such as mouse,
chicken and frog.


"Our observations provide new insight into the genetic basis of complexity of organs such as the human brain," says Benjamin Blencowe, Professor in U of T's Banting and Best Department of Research and the Department of Molecular Genetics, and the study's senior author.

"The fact that alternative splicing is very different even between closely related vertebrate species could ultimately help explain how we are unique."

The study, "The Evolutionary Landscape of Alternative Slicing in Vertebrate Species", is published in the December 21 issue of Science.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-12/uot-uot122012.php