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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.

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 ON weeks 0 - 40 and follow along every 2 weeks of fetal development
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Home | Pregnancy Timeline | News Alerts |News Archive Nov 6, 2013


A comparison of gray matter volume in brain areas —
(a) The left superior parietal lobule (post-traumatic stress disorder patients group < trauma control group);
(b) the right superior frontal gyrus (post-traumatic stress disorder patients group < trauma control group);
(c) the right lingual gyrus (post-traumatic stress disorder patients group < symptoms-improved group);
(d) the right middle occipital gyrus (symptoms-improved group < trauma control group); (e) the left middle frontal gyrus (symptoms-improved group < trauma control group).
A: Anterior; P: posterior; L: left; R: right.

Data analyzed using one-way analysis of covariance and adjusted with Alphasim. The color bar in each image represents the T value, and the higher T values indicate greater differences.

Image Credit: Neural Regeneration Research

WHO Child Growth Charts




Brain structure in post-traumatic stress disorder

Wars, earthquakes, major traffic accidents, and terrorist attacks may bring about profound spiritual pains, and even cause extreme fear and helplessness for people that have experienced or witnessed these unusual threats or disasters.

The persistent and constant mental disorder caused by psychological trauma is termed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Can brain structural damage alter as symptoms improve? As PTSD progresses, brain structure inevitably changes, however, no PTSD symptoms have been clearly described in previous PTSD imaging studies.

Understanding the brain areas highly involved in the improvement of PTSD symptoms will assist the judgment of PTSD patient prognosis.

Weihui Li and colleagues from the Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, China compared the difference in brain structure in 12 mine disaster survivors with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, 7 cases of improved post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, and 14 controls who experienced the same mine disaster but did not suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, using the voxel-based morphometry method.

Study results indicate that:

(1) chronic post-traumatic stress disorder patients have gray matter structural damage in the prefrontal lobe, occipital lobe, and parietal lobe

(2) after post-traumatic stress, the disorder symptoms are improved and gray matter structural damage is reduced, but cannot recover to the trauma-control level

(3) the superior parietal lobule is possibly associated with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder.

Their findings are published in the Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 8, No. 26, 2013)

Abstract not available online at this time.

Article: " Brain structure in post-traumatic stress disorder: a voxel-based morphometry analysis," by Liwen Tan1, Li Zhang1, Rongfeng Qi2, Guangming Lu2, Lingjiang Li1, Jun Liu3, 4, Weihui Li1 (1 Mental Health Institute of the Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Key Laboratory of Psychiatry and Mental Health of Hunan Province, Hunan Province Technology Institute of Psychiatry, Changsha 410011, Hunan Province, China ; 2 Department of Medical Imaging, Jinling Hospital, Clinical School of Medical College, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210002, Jiangsu Province, China ; 3 Department of Radiology, the Second Xiangya Hosipital, Central South University, Changsha 410011, Hunan Province, China; 4 School of Public Administration, Central South University, Changsha 410011, Hunan Province, China)

Tan LW, Zhang L, Qi RF, Lu GM, Li LJ, Liu J, Li WH. Brain structure in post-traumatic stress disorder: a voxel-based morphometry analysis. Neural Regen Res. 2013;8(26):2405-2414.

Original press release: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-11/nrr-bsi110413.php