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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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The World Health Organization (WHO) has created a new Web site to help researchers, doctors and
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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
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Home | Pregnancy Timeline | News Alerts | News Archive May 20, 2013

Damage to the fatty coating, or myelin, of mitochodria slows the transmission of nerve signals that enable body movement, as well as sensory and cognitive functioning.

WHO Child Growth Charts




New approach to improving treatment for MS

Recent research results could have therapeutic implications for MS as well as cerebral palsy and leukodystrophies, disorders associated with loss of white matter—the brain tissue where information is carried between nerve cells and the spinal cord.

The target will be mitochondrial translocator protein (TSPO), previously identified but not linked to MS, an autoimmune disease that strips the protective fatty coating off nerve fibers of the brain and spinal cord. Mitrochronical TSPO is located on the outer surface of mitochondria, the cellular structures that supply energy in a cell. Damage to the fatty coating, or myelin, slows transmission of nerve signals that enable body movement, as well as sensory and cognitive functioning.

The study results are published online in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.

Scientists identified mitochondrial TSPO as a potential therapeutic target when mice with symptoms of MS, improved after treatment with the anti-anxiety drug etifoxine. Etifoxine not only interacts with mitochondrial TSPO, it is clinically available in Europe. Administered to MS mice before clinical signs of disease emerged, the severity of the disease was reduced in comparison to untreated mice.

“Etifoxine has a novel protective effect against the loss of the sheath insulating the nerve fibers that transmit the signals from brain cells.Our discovery of etifoxine's effects on an MS animal model suggests that mitochondrial TSPO represents a potential therapeutic target for MS drug development. Drugs designed to more precisely bind to mitochondrial TSPO may help repair the myelin sheath of MS patients and might even help restore the transmission of signals in the central nervous system that enable normal motor, sensory and cognitive functions,” Wenbin Deng, principal investigator of the study, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular medicine, University of California at Davis

Deng added that better treatments for MS and other demyelinating diseases are needed, especially as current FDA-approved therapies do not repair the damage of immune attacks on the myelin sheath.

The UC Davis research team hopes to continue investigating therapeutic applications of mitochondrial TSPO by testing a variety of pharmacological compounds which bind to it and other molecular targets in experimental models of MS and related myelin diseases.

The journal paper is entitled, “A TSPO ligand is protective in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis.”

In addition to Wenbin Deng, co-authors of the paper are Daniel J. Daugherty, Vimal Selvaraj, Olga V. Chechneva, Xiao-Bo Liu and David E. Pleasure.

The study was in part supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Feldstein Medical Foundation and ShrinersHospitals for Children. NIH grant numbers R01 NS059043 and R01 ES015988.

UC Davis Health System is improving lives and transforming health care by providing excellent patient care, conducting groundbreaking research, fostering innovative, interprofessional education, and creating dynamic, productive partnerships with the community. The academic health system includes one of the country's best medical schools, a 619-bed acute-care teaching hospital, a 1000-member physician's practice group and the new Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. It is home to a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, an international neurodevelopmental institute, a stem cell institute and a comprehensive children's hospital. Other nationally prominent centers focus on advancing telemedicine, improving vascular care, eliminating health disparities and translating research findings into new treatments for patients. Together, they make UC Davis a hub of innovation that is transforming health for all. For more information, visit healthsystem.ucdavis.edu.

Original article: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/publish/news/newsroom/7748