Welcome to The Visible Embryo

Home-- -History-- -Bibliography- -Pregnancy Timeline- --Prescription Drugs in Pregnancy- -- Pregnancy Calculator- --Female Reproductive System- -Contact
 

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.

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!



Home

History

Bibliography

Pregnancy Timeline

Prescription Drug Effects on Pregnancy

Pregnancy Calculator

Female Reproductive System

Contact The Visible Embryo

News Alerts Archive

Disclaimer: The Visible Embryo web site is provided for your general information only. The information contained on this site should not be treated as a substitute for medical, legal or other professional advice. Neither is The Visible Embryo responsible or liable for the contents of any websites of third parties which are listed on this site.
Content protected under a Creative Commons License.

No dirivative works may be made or used for commercial purposes.

Return To Top Of Page
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
Google Search artcles published since 2007
 
 

Home | Pregnancy Timeline | News Alerts | News Archive June 6, 2013

 
Drosophila neuron DSCAM
(BLUE) A fruitfly's spinal cord—equivalent to a human spinal cord—with two neuron protrusions.
(GREEN) The protrusion of a neuron without Dscam protein
(RED) Neuron with an abnormally high level of Dscam protein.

Image credit: Xin Wang






WHO Child Growth Charts

 

 

 

Targeting an aspect of Down syndrome

Research has determined how a gene known to be defective in Down syndrome is regulated and may lead to neurological defects. This knowledge provides insights into potential therapeutic approaches to one aspect of the syndrome.

Normally nerve cells, called neurons, undergo intense extension and branching of neural protrusions around the time of birth. During this time, neurons produce proteins of a gene called Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule— Dscam—at high levels. After this phase, the growth and levels of Dscam taper off.

However, in the brains of patients with Down syndrome, epilepsy and several other neurological disorders—the amount of Dscam remains high. The impact of the elevated Dscam amount on how neurons develop had been unknown.


Bing Ye, a faculty member at University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute, found that in the fruit fly Drosophila, the amount of Dscam proteins in a neuron determines the size to which a neuron extends its protrusions before it forms connections with other nerve cells.

An overproduction of Dscam proteins leads to abnormally large neuronal protrusions.


Ye also identified two molecular pathways that converge to regulate the abundance of Dscam:

  1. One, dual leucine zipper kinase (DLK), is involved in nerve regeneration promoting the synthesis of Dscam proteins.
  2. Two, fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP),which causes fragile X syndrome when defective, represses Dscam protein.

Because humans share these genes with Drosophila, the DLK-FMRP-Dscam relationship presents a possible target for therapeutic intervention, Ye feels.

Many genes are involved in neurological disorders like Down syndrome, and how molecular defects cause the disease is complex.


"But, because of the important roles of Dscam in the development of neurons, its related defect is very likely to be an aspect of Down syndrome and it may be an aspect of the syndrome that can be treated."

Bing Ye, assistant professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan Medical School


Ye's next step is to test the effects of overexpression of Dscam in mice to see how it changes the development of the nervous system and the behavior of the animal.

Down syndrome occurs in about one in 830 newborns; an estimated 250,000 people in the U.S. have the condition, according to the National Library of Medicine's Genetics Home Reference.

Ye's study is published online June 5, 2013 in Neuron.

Other authors were Jung Hwan Kim, Xin Wang and Rosemary Coolon of the Life Sciences Institute and the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, Whitehall Foundation and Pew Scholars Program in the Biological Sciences.

Related Links:
Bing Ye: http://www.lsi.umich.edu/facultyresearch/labs/bingye

Original article:http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/21502-targeting-an-aspect-of-down-syndrome