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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 Sep 25, 2013

 

‘I’m delighted that the NIH has accepted our stem cell lines. There are now significant opportunities for US-based researchers to use these lines as tools to test the molecular mechanisms of common diseases, so it’s fantastic that they are now freely available
to advance the science of stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine.’


Dr Dusko Ilic, Senior Lecturer in Stem Cell Science at King’s College London







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United Kingdom Stem cell lines now on NIH Registry

King’s College London disease-specific human embryonic stem cell lines are now available on the National Institutes of Health Stem Cell Registry.

Scientists from King’s College London have announced that 16 human embryonic stem (hES) cell lines have been approved by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and placed on their Stem Cell Registry, making them freely available for federally-funded research in the USA.


The King's College stem cell lines, which carry genes for a variety of hereditary disorders such as Huntington’s disease, spinal muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis, are considered to be ideal research tools for designing models to understand disease progression, and ultimately in helping scientists develop new treatments for patients.

King’s is now one of the five biggest providers of disease-specific human embryonic stem cells lines on the NIH Registry, and the largest from the UK. The development is a significant milestone for King’s and keeps the university at the forefront of global research into regenerative medicine.


Embryonic stem cell lines are grown from frozen embryos donated by patients undergoing preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) in conjunction with IVF treatment. Unlike ‘adult’ stem cells, embryonic stem cells can differentiate into any type of cell within the body and are considered to be more useful for stem cell-based therapies.

Disease-specific stem cell lines are created from embryos found to be affected with genetic disorders and therefore not suitable for implantation, but offer huge potential for research into disease development. King’s has already developed eight clinical-grade and more than 30 research-grade stem cell lines, which were approved by the UK Stem Cell Steering Committee to be deposited with the UK Stem Cell Bank (UKSCB) and distributed worldwide.


The sixteen lines of stem cells on the NIH Registry carry genes for various hereditary disorders including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Huntington’s disease, cystic fibrosis, and rarer conditions such as Von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, spinal muscular atrophy, myotonic dystrophy and neurofibromatosis.


‘Major contribution to global stem cell research’

Professor Peter Braude, Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, King’s College London; and former director of the Stem Cell Programme and the Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis Programme, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘We are delighted that the NIH has found our lines useful and their procurement and consents in line with the strict guidelines that they have set. This achievement is the culmination of over ten years of painstaking research and consistent belief in the scientific usefulness of these very special cells to improve our understanding of genetic disease processes.

‘This is a huge milestone for King’s, and will allow us to make a major contribution to global stem cell research by having these stem cell lines available to scientists in the USA.

‘These research-grade stem cell lines are essential not only to address basic questions in development and disease, but to test and implement technical improvements in culture conditions that might affect hES cell viability and pluripotency.’

About Reproductive Medicine at King’s
The Reproductive Medicine Unit located at the Guy’s Campus comprises the Reproductive Medicine Clinic (RMC), the Assisted Conception Unit (ACU) and the centre for Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). Together these provide a highly rated comprehensive fertility and reproductive medicine service with over 2000 new patients seen per annum and substantial research potential. The Unit provides the UKs largest and most successful PGD programme and has a pioneering human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research unit. It is also one of the key units for subspecialty postgraduate training in reproductive medicine in the UK.

Assisted Conception Unit, Guy's and St Thomas', NHS Foundation Trust

For further information about King's hES stem cells catalogue visit the King's website.

For further information about the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry visit the NIH website.

Original press releas: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/newsevents/news/newsrecords/2013/09-September/Stem-cells-on-NIH-Registry.aspx