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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. Initally designed to evaluate the internet as a teaching tool for first year medical students, The Visible Embryo is linked to over 600 educational institutions and is viewed by more than one million visitors each month.

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 SemestersFetal 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 HemispheresFemale Reproductive SystemEnd of Embryonic PeriodEnd of Embryonic PeriodFirst Thin Layer of Skin AppearsThird TrimesterSecond TrimesterFirst TrimesterFertilizationDevelopmental Timeline
CLICK ON weeks 0 - 40 and follow along every 2 weeks of fetal development
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News Alerts  May 6, 2013--------News Archive

 

 
mouse nursing
Scientists studied mouse pups that were raised by either dual or single parents and found
that adult cell production in the brain might be triggered by early life experiences.




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New brain research shows two parents may be better than one

A team of researchers at the University of Calgary's Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) have discovered that adult brain cell production in mice might be determined, in part, by the early parental environment. The study suggests that dual parenting may be more beneficial than single parenting.

by Marta Cyperling

Scientists studied mouse pups that were raised by either dual or single parents and found that adult cell production in the brain might be triggered by early life experiences.


The scientists also found that the increased adult brain cell production varied based on gender.

Specifically, female pups raised by two parents had enhanced white matter production as adults, increasing motor co-ordination and sociability.

Male pups raised by dual parents displayed more grey matter production as an adult, which improves learning and memory.


“Our new work adds to a growing body of knowledge, which indicates that early, supportive experiences have long lasting, positive impact on adult brain function,” says Samuel Weiss, PhD, senior author of the study and director of the HBI.

Surprisingly, the advantages of dual parenting were also passed along when these two groups reproduced, even if their offspring were raised by one female. The advantages of dual parenting were thus passed along to the next generation.

To conduct the study, scientists divided mice into three groups:

Pups raised to adulthood by one female;
Pups raised to adulthood by one female and one male, and;
Pups raised to adulthood by two females.
Researchers then waited for the offspring to reach adulthood to find out if there was any impact on brain cell production.


Scientists say this research provides evidence that, in the mouse model, parenting and the environment directly impact adult brain cell production. While it’s not known at this point, it is possible that similar effects could be seen in other mammals, such as humans.


The study is published in the May 1 edition of PLOS ONE. It was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The research paper can be read online: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0062701.

Original article: http://www.ucalgary.ca/news/utoday/may2-2013/new-brain-research-shows-two-parents-may-be-better-than-one