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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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Home | Pregnancy Timeline | News Alerts | News Archive May 31, 2013

 
A complex set of neurochemical processes, newly unraveled, shows that obesity can sustain itself, impeding hormones that would curb appetite or increase the burn rate for calories. “This is so novel. Nobody ever looked at that possibility.”
Credit: David Orenstein/Brown University.






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Thyroid conditions raise risk of pregnancy complications

Pregnant women who have thyroid disorders face greater risk of preterm birth and other complications that have short- and long-term consequences for the health of mother and child, according to a recent study.

The risk of complications is heightened for both women who have underactive thyroid glands – a condition known as hypothyroidism – and those with overactive thyroid glands, or hyperthyroidism. Up to four percent of all pregnancies involve mothers with thyroid conditions.

The work is published in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

"In the United States, at least 80,000 pregnant women each year have thyroid diseases," said the study's lead author, Tuija Männistö, MD, PhD, of the National Institutes of Health's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). "These women are at increased risk of having serious adverse pregnancy outcomes, including hypertension and preterm birth. They also have a higher rate of labor inductions and other birth interventions."

The retrospective cohort study analyzed electronic medical records and 223,512 pregnancies where a single child was born to determine the rate of complications among women with thyroid conditions. The data was taken from the Consortium on Safe Labor study performed from 2002-2008.


The study found women who had thyroid conditions were more likely to develop preeclampsia and tended to be admitted to the intensive care unit more frequently.

Women with hypothyroidism, the most common thyroid disease in pregnancy, also were more likely to develop gestational diabetes and had a higher rate of cesarean delivery.


"Women need appropriate thyroid hormone levels to support a healthy pregnancy, so it is very important to carefully monitor expecting mothers who have thyroid diseases," said one of the study's authors, Pauline Mendola, PhD, of the NIH's NICHD. "We also need more research to identify ways to reduce the risks these women currently face."

The Endocrine Society's clinical practice guidelines for managing thyroid dysfunction during pregnancy and postpartum are available online here.

Other researchers working on the study include: J. Grewal, Y. Xie, Z. Chen, and S.K. Laughon of the NIH's NICHD.

The article, "Thyroid Diseases and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes in a Contemporary U.S. Cohort," was published online on May 29.

Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, The Endocrine Society's membership consists of over 16,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 100 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at http://www.endo-society.org. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/EndoMedia.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-05/tes-tcr052413.php