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


Research focused on the organization and functioning of the centromere,
which is responsible for chromosome segregation—a process ensuring cells receive
a complete copy of the genome.






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Biologists Identify Proteins Vital to Chromosome Segregation

New York University biologists have identified how a vital protein is loaded by others into the centromere, the part of the chromosome that plays a significant role in cell division

Their findings shed new light on genome replication and may offer insights into the factors behind the production of abnormal numbers of chromosomes.

Their findings appear in the latest issue of the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


The researchers focused on the organization and
functioning of the centromere, which is responsible
for chromosome segregation—a process ensuring
replicating cells receive a complete copy of the genome.

Disruption of this process can lead to the production
of an abnormal number of chromosomes—a condition
evident in 90 percent of cancer cases.


To explore the mechanics of the centromere, the researchers examined fission yeast. This species of yeast is a model organism in cell biology because its chromosome replication and the regulation of its centromere are similar to that of humans.

In the study, researchers focused on a protein, CENP-A, present in both humans and fission yeast. They specifically examined how it is incorporated into the centromere during cell division.


Their results identified that a trio of proteins
—Dos1, Dos2, and Cdc20—
work together to assemble CENP-A at centromeres
as they duplicate. They further observed that any
disruption of this process subsequently places this vital
protein outside of the centromere—thereby preventing it
from ensuring proper chromosome segregation.


"CENP-A is the engineer of the centromere," explained Fei Li, an assistant professor in NYU's Department of Biology and the study's senior author. "Without this protein, the centromere simply can't function."

Li noted that many forms of cancer have been linked to malfunctioning CENP-A.

"Hopefully, these findings can contribute toward the development of improved strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer," he added.

The study's other co-authors were: post-doctoral fellows Marlyn González and Haijin He, Siyu Sun, an NYU graduate student, and Chen Li, who obtained her masters degree from NYU in 2012.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-12/nyu-nbi121912.php