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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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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.
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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
Google Search artcles published since 2007
 
August 5, 2011--------News Archive

Prenatal Stress Linked with Accelerated Cell Aging
Research points to critical role of maternal health and well-being during pregnancy.

Mutation Linked With the Absence of Fingerprints
Rare genetic mutations prove useful as a tool for investigating unknown aspects of our biology.


August 4, 2011--------News Archive

Pregnancy Diet Decreases Baby's Breast Cancer Risk
Era of Hope conference to feature compelling research examining benefits to daughters based on mother's diet in pregnancy.

Quick, Low-Cost Tests For Child Development Delays
Study confirms accuracy of developmental screening tests that can be administered by family physicians.


August 3, 2011--------News Archive

Helping Children Learn to Understand Numbers
It's all in the way we speak to them.

Pilot Study Suggests New Approach for Preeclampsia
Apheresis-based treatment may prolong pregnancy.

The Dark Side of Oxytocin
The "cuddle chemical" can also stir emotions like envy and gloating.


August 2, 2011--------News Archive

New Light on the Mechanisms of Brain Development
Study has implications for understanding brain disorders rooted in development, such as autism.

Why Autistic Individuals Confuse Pronouns
Impaired communication between areas of the brain causes autism and disrupts concept of 'self'.


August 1, 2011--------News Archive

Fast Ripples Mark Brain Seizure Activity in Children
Resection surgery of brain regions with fast ripples may improve seizure outcome.

Caloric Restriction and Female Infertility
Scientists tested the effects of caloric restriction on eggs produced by aging mice, and found they were better quality than age-matched mice fed a normal diet.

70 Percent of 8-Month-Old Babies Eat Too Much Salt
Due to being fed salty and processed foods like yeast extract, gravy, baked beans and tinned spaghetti, United Kingdom infants have too much salt in their bodies.

WHO Child Growth Charts


A rare disorder called "adermatoglyphia" means you will have no fingerprints, toeprints or other skin ridges of any sort that distinguish you as unique.

Scientists have identified a mutation that might underlie an extremely rare condition, called "adermatoglyphia," which causes people to be born without any fingerprints.

The research, published by Cell Press online August 4th in The American Journal of Human Genetics, not only provides valuable insight into the genetic basis of adermatoglyphia and of typical fingerprint formation but also underscores the usefulness of rare genetic mutations as a tool for investigating unknown aspects of our biology.

Human skin has ridges called dermatoglyphs that are present on the fingers, palms, toes and soles. The dermatoglyphs on the finger tips, better known as fingerprints, are often used as a means for establishing identity. In fact, adermatoglyphia was recently named "immigration delay disease" because affected individuals report significant difficulties entering countries that require fingerprint recording.

"We know that fingerprints are fully formed by 24 weeks after fertilization and do not undergo any modification throughout life," explains the senior study author, Dr. Eli Sprecher from Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel. "However, the factors underlying the formation and pattern of fingerprints during embryonic development are largely unknown."

To better understand the genetics of fingerprint formation, Dr. Sprecher and colleagues investigated a large Swiss family presenting with adermatoglyphia. All affected members of the family had displayed an absence of fingerprints since birth, and this absence was associated with a reduced number of sweat glands.

Using a sophisticated genetic analysis of affected and unaffected family members, the researchers discovered that a mutation in the gene SMARCAD1 causes the disease.

The protein encoded by the gene is thought to control the expression of a large number of target genes associated with development. More specifically, the group demonstrated the existence of a short version of SMARCAD1 that was exclusively expressed in the skin and was mutated in individuals with the disease.

"Taken together, our findings implicate a skin-specific version of SMARCAD1 in the regulation of fingerprint development," concludes Dr. Sprecher.

"Although little is known about the function of full-length SMARCAD1 and virtually nothing regarding the physiological role of the skin-specific version of the gene, it is tempting to speculate that SMARCAD1 in the skin may target genes involved in dermatoglyph and sweat gland development, two structures jointly affected in the present family.

Further, as abnormal fingerprints are known to sometimes herald severe disorders, our finding may also impact the understanding of additional diseases affecting not only the skin."