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 9, 2013

 

"As language becomes more complex and children become more proficient, it seems as if they use different regions of the brain to support it,"  Jonathan O'Muircheartaigh, lead author, and Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow at King's College London.








WHO Child Growth Charts

 

 

 

New ideas about brain anatomy, language in young children

Researchers from Brown University and King's College London have gained surprising new insights into how brain anatomy influences language acquisition in young children.

Their study, published in the Journal of Neurosugery, found that the explosion of language acquisition that typically occurs in children between 2 and 4 years old is not reflected in substantial changes in brain asymmetry.

Structures that support language ability tend to be localized on the left side of the brain. For that reason, researchers expected to see more myelin — the fatty material that insulates nerve fibers and helps electrical signals zip around the brain — developing on the left side in children entering the critical period of language acquisition. But that is not what they found.


"What we actually saw was that the asymmetry of myelin was there right from the beginning, even in the youngest children in the study, around the age of 1. Rather than increasing, those asymmetries remained pretty constant over time."

Jonathan O'Muircheartaigh, lead author, and Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow at King's College London.


The finding underscores the importance of environment during this critical period for language. O'Muircheartaigh is currently working in Brown University's Advanced Baby Imaging Lab. The lab uses a specialized MRI technique to look at the formation of myelin in babies and toddlers. Babies are born with little myelin, but its growth accelerates rapidly in the first few years of life.

The researchers imaged the brains of 108 children between ages 1 and 6, looking for myelin growth in and around areas of the brain known to support language.


While asymmetry in myelin remained constant over time, the relationship between specific asymmetries and language ability did change, the study found. To investigate that relationship, the researchers compared the brain scans to a battery of language tests given to each child in the study. The comparison showed that asymmetries in different parts of the brain appear to predict language ability at different ages.


"Regions of the brain that weren't important to successful language in toddlers became more important in older children, about the time they start school," O'Muircheartaigh said. "As language becomes more complex and children become more proficient, it seems as if they use different regions of the brain to support it."

Interestingly, the association between asymmetry and language was generally weakest during the critical language period.

"We found that between the ages of 2 and 4, myelin asymmetry doesn't predict language very well," O'Muircheartaigh said. "So if it's not a child's brain anatomy predicting their language skills, it suggests their environment might be more influential."

The researchers hope this study will provide a helpful baseline for future research aimed at pinpointing brain structures that might predict developmental disorders.


"Disorders like autism, dyslexia, and ADHD all have specific deficits in language ability. But, before we do studies looking at abnormalities we need to know how typical children develop. That's what this study is about."

Jonathan O'Muircheartaigh, lead author


"This work is important, as it is the first to investigate the relationship between brain structure and language across early childhood and demonstrate how this relationship changes with age," said Sean Deoni, assistant professor of engineering, who oversees the Advanced Baby Imaging Lab. "The study highlights the advantage of collaborative work, combining expertise in pediatric imaging at Brown and neuropsychology from the King's College London Institute of Psychiatry, making this work possible."

Abstract Highlights
Caspase-3 and caspase-9 play crucial roles in developmental axon degeneration
XIAP regulates caspase activity in degenerating neurites
XIAP levels must be reduced for axonal degeneration to proceed
An IAP-caspase regulatory loop regulates neurite degeneration across phylogeny
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.

Other authors on the paper include Douglas Dean, Holly Dirks, Nicole Waskiewicz, and Katie Lehman from Brown's Baby Imaging Lab, and Beth Jerskey from Brown's Alpert Medical School. The work was funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health and the Wellcome Trust.

Editors: Brown University has a fiber link television studio available for domestic and international live and taped interviews, and maintains an ISDN line for radio interviews. For more information, call (401) 863-2476.

Original press releas: http://news.brown.edu/pressreleases/2013/10/language