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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
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!




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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 July 3, 2013

The study shows that Lrh-1 is necessary for maintenance of the corpus luteum,
the cells that trigger the production of the hormone progesterone, which stimulates
the lining of the uterus to prepare for a blastocyst to implant and begin growing.
It therefore is indispensible in establishing and sustaining pregnancy

WHO Child Growth Charts




Liver protein crucial to pregnancy

A protein first shown to function in the liver plays a crucial role in pregnancy in mice and has a key role in the human menstrual cycle, according to researchers at the University of Montreal.

Mice genetically engineered not to produce the liver receptor homolog-1 (Lrh-1) molecule were unable to create uterine conditions neeeded for establishing and sustaining pregnancy — resulting in defective placentas.

Explained lead author Bruce Murphy, of the university's Animal Reproduction Research Centre: "We previously showed that Lrh-1 is essential for ovulation. Our newest studies have revealed how it plays an important role in the uterus — raising the possibility that Lrh-1 deficiency contributes to human gestational failure.

Although I believe it is premature to propose Lrh-1 determination in uterine biopsies as a diagnostic tool, we are working on determining the receptor's pattern of expression across the menstrual cycle.

Administering progesterone did not make a difference. Although hormone therapy allowed the embryos to implant, we saw problems with the uterine lining, compromised formation of the placenta, fetal growth retardation and fetal death.

However, there are new Lrh-1 agonists and antagonists, currently in clinical trials to treat hepatic consequences of type II diabetes, and thus therapeutic intervention might be possible."

The study was published in Nature Medicine on June 30, 2013, and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

The US National Institutes of Health funded collaborators at Baylor University that contributed to the study. The University of Montreal is officially known as Université de Montréal.

Original press release: http://www.nouvelles.umontreal.ca/udem-news/news/20130702-liver-protein-crucial-for-pregnancy.html