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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 ' million visitors each month.


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!



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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 weeks 0 - 40 and follow fetal growth
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April 22, 2011--------News Archive

Placental Seratonin Critical For Brain Development
For the first time, the human placenta is found to synthesize serotonin - critical to brain development, in a process that could be affected by the mother's nutrition.

Plant Hormone Reveals Molecule Critical To Embryo
The mechanism regulating embryonic development in plants displays similarities to a signalling pathway in embryonic stem cells in mammals.


April 21, 2011--------News Archive

Insecticide Linked to Decrease In Cognitive Function
Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health report evidence of a link between prenatal exposure to the insecticide chlorpyrifos and deficits in IQ and working memory by age seven.

The ‘Core Pathway’ of Aging
Scientists find root molecular path in the decline of an aging cell.


April 20, 2011--------News Archive

'Thirdhand Smoke' Poses Danger to Unborn Lungs
Stepping outside to smoke a cigarette may not be enough to protect the lungs and life of a pregnant woman's unborn child.

A Way To Predict Premature Birth?
A new study suggests that more than 80 percent of pre-term births can be spotted in advance with a blood test taken during the second trimester of a pregnancy.


April 19, 2011--------News Archive

Ovarian Cancer May Originate in Fallopian Tube
High-grade serous ovarian cancer is thought by many scientists to often be a fallopian tube malignancy masquerading as an ovarian one.

Parents Like Genetic Testing for Their Kids
Parents offered genetic testing to predict their risks of common, adult-onset health conditions say they would also test their children.


April 18, 2011--------News Archive

Interventions Don't Always Net Healthy Newborn
High rates of induction, primary C-Section, do not always improve infant outcomes in low-risk women at community hospitals.

New Approach to Treating MLL Leukemia In Babies
A Loyola University Health System study points to a promising new approach to treating an aggressive and usually fatal leukemia in babies.

WHO Child Growth Charts

High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC), the fifth-deadliest cancer among American women, is thought by many scientists to often be a fallopian tube malignancy masquerading as an ovarian one. While most of the evidence linking HGSOC to the fallopian tubes has so far been only circumstantial, a new Dana-Farber Cancer Institute study suggests there is a direct connection, a finding that could aid in the development of better treatments for the cancer.

Dana-Farber scientists report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they have developed a laboratory model that mimics how fallopian tube cells may morph into cancer cells that appear to have come from the ovaries. Demonstrating that this process can happen in the lab is powerful evidence that it does happen in patients, throwing new weight behind the theory that HGSOC begins, in fact, in the fallopian tubes.

"The hypothesis of fallopian tube origin of high-grade serous ovarian cancer is based primarily on examinations of fallopian tubes surgically removed from women with a genetic predisposition to ovarian cancer," says Dana-Farber's Ronny Drapkin, MD, PhD, senior author of the new study.

"Areas of the tubes adjacent to the ovary often had patches of cells that were predecessors of serous cancers. But to convincingly show that these cells are the source of high-grade serous ovarian cancer, we need to trace each step of the disease's development. Our model provides that kind of demonstration."

The origins of HGSOC have been so difficult to track down because of the insidious nature of the disease. Ovarian tumors often establish themselves without producing any warning symptoms. By the time the disease is discovered, the ovaries can be so overrun with cancer that adjacent sections of the fallopian tube are obscured, making them difficult to examine under a microscope.

Late detection is one reason why ovarian cancer is notoriously difficult to treat. The American Cancer Society estimates that 22,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with HGSOC each year, and 14,000 die of it. Worldwide, the incidence approaches 200,000 women with 115,000 deaths each year.

In work published last year, Dana-Farber researchers created a laboratory model for studying the lining of the fallopian tubes. Using tissue from women who had had their fallopian tubes removed for reasons unrelated to cancer, the researchers established a model that mirrors the structure and function of normal fallopian tube tissue in the body.

For the new study, researchers removed secretory cells from the fallopian tube tissue model and "immortalized" them - altering the cells' genetic programming so they continue to divide indefinitely, much as cancer cells do.

As the Cancer Genome Atlas Project has shown, ovarian cancers don't have a consistent pattern of gene mutations (other than in the p53 tumor suppressor gene). What they have, instead, are broad irregularities in the number of copies of key genes - too many, too few, or none at all. The gene most commonly missing from ovarian cancer cells is hRb, the one most often overduplicated is c-Myc. The Dana-Farber researchers made the immortalized cells mimic those abnormalities by shutting down hRb and sending c-Myc into overdrive.

Like true tumor cells, these "artificial" cancer cells proliferated rapidly and were able to leave their home tissue and grow elsewhere. When implanted in laboratory animals, they also gave rise to tumors that were structurally, behaviorally, and genomically similar to human HGSOC.

"The model allows us to introduce other genetic abnormalities into these cells to see the effect on tumor growth and development," says Drapkin, who is also an assistant professof of pathology at Harvard Medical School.

"Such studies will help us identify different types of high-grade serous ovarian cancer, as well as possibly discover biomarkers - proteins in the blood - that signal the presence of the disease. Ultimately, the model will enable us to test potential therapies to determine which work best in each type of the disease."

The study's lead author is Alison Karst, PhD, and the co-author is Keren Levanon, MD, PhD, both of Dana-Farber.

The research was supported by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellowship, a Marsha Rivkin Foundation Scientific Scholar Award, the American Association for Cancer Research/George and Patricia Sehl Fellowship for Cancer Genetics Research, the American Physicians Fellowship for Medicine in Israel/Claire and Emmanuel G. Rosenblatt Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, the Robert and Debra First Fund, the Randi and Joel Cutler Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, and the Mary Kay Foundation.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (www.dana-farber.org) is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is among the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States. It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC), designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-04/dci-nsm041511.php