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.

 

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 Oct 8, 2013

 

 



A neuron cell body forming multiple axons.

The balancing act between caspases and XIAP ensure that caspases do not cause unnecessary or excessive destruction. However, this balance may shift during neurodegenerative disease.







WHO Child Growth Charts

 

 

 

Nerve cell pruning leads to disease

Mechanisms meant to grow our brain network may be malfunctioning in neurodegenerative diseases.

Research into neurodegenerative disease has traditionally concentrated on the death of nerve cells. But now, science is certain that in most cases nerve cell death represents the final event of an extended disease process. Studies show that protecting nerve cell bodies from death has no impact on disease progression—whereas blocking the preceding event of axon breakdown has a significant results.


The new study by researchers at The Neuro of Montreal, Canada, an academic medical centre dedicated to neuroscience, shifts the focus to the loss or degeneration of axons, the nerve-cell ‘branches’ that receive and distribute neurochemical signals among neurons.

During early development, axons are pruned to ensure normal growth of the nervous system. Emerging science suggests that this pruning process becomes reactivated in neurodegenerative diseases, leading to the abnormal loss of axons and dendrites.

Axon pruning in development is significantly influenced by proteins called caspases.


“The idea that caspases are even involved in axonal degeneration during development is very recent” said Dr. Philip Barker, a principal investigator at The Neuro and senior author of the study.


Dr. Barker and his colleagues show that the activity of certain ’executioner’ caspases (caspase-3 and caspase-9) induce axonal degeneration and that their action is suppressed by a protein termed XIAP (X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis).


“We found that caspase-3- and -9 play crucial roles in axonal degeneration and that their activities are regulated by XIAP. XIAP acts as a brake on caspase activity and must be removed for degeneration to proceed” added Dr. Barker.

This balancing act between caspases and XIAP ensure that caspases do not cause unnecessary or excessive destruction. However, this balance may shift during neurodegenerative disease.

“If we understand the pathways that regulate XIAP levels, we may be able to develop therapies that reduce caspase-dependent degeneration during neurodegenerative disease.”

This research is published in Cell Reports. It points to pathways and targets for new therapies in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases affecting millions of people world-wide.

Report Summary
Our knowledge of the destructive events that regulate axonal degeneration is rudimentary. Here, we examine the role of caspases and their endogenous inhibitor, the X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), in axonal degeneration of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) axons. We show that caspase-3, caspase-6, and caspase-9 are present in axons and are cleaved upon nerve growth factor (NGF) withdrawal. We observed that caspase-3 activity is high in NGF-withdrawn axons and that CASP3−/− axons are protected from degeneration. XIAP−/− DRG sensory neurons degenerate more rapidly and contain more active caspase-3 than their wild-type counterparts, indicating that axonal caspases are normally regulated by XIAP. Importantly, axonal XIAP levels drop sharply after NGF withdrawal; if XIAP levels are maintained by overexpression, axonal caspase-3 activation and axonal degeneration are suppressed. Finally, we show that XIAP−/− embryos have stunted dermal innervation. We propose that XIAP-mediated caspase inhibition plays an important role in regulating morphogenic events that shape the nervous system during development.

The Neuro
The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital — The Neuro, is a unique academic medical centre dedicated to neuroscience. Founded in 1934 by the renowned Dr. Wilder Penfield, the Neuro is recognized internationally for integrating research, compassionate patient care and advanced training, all key to advances in science and medicine. The Neuro is a research and teaching institute of McGill University and forms the basis for the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. Neuro researchers are world leaders in cellular and molecular neuroscience, brain imaging, cognitive neuroscience and the study and treatment of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and neuromuscular disorders. For more information, visit theneuro.com

Original press releas: http://www.mcgill.ca/channels/news/everything-moderation-excessive-nerve-cell-pruning-leads-disease-230995