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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 April 2, 2014


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders —FASD — may be on the rise due to
increasing alcohol binge drinking among young women, as the majority of
pregnancies in both developing and developed countries are unplanned.
FASD disorders cause damage to the central nervous system
as well as to other systems and organs of the fetus.
And these impairments are likely to be lifelong.

WHO Child Growth Charts




Fetal alcohol disorders under-recognized

Special issue of the International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research focuses on Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders - FASD.

The open-access International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research has released a special issue on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), with the intention of increasing awareness of the negative effects of alcohol use in pregnancy and improving prevention, treatment and care for those living with FASD.

"In most countries, FASD is not well recognized by health professionals. If it were, FASD could be addressed more consistently and effectively at the policy and program level. This would alleviate its burden on individuals with FASD and their families, who require intensive support from health, social and remedial education services," says Dr. Svetlana (Lana) Popova, senior scientist in the Social and Epidemiological Research Department of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and guest editor of FASD.

The term FASD refers to a group of disorders in which alcohol exposure during pregnancy causes damage to the central nervous system of the fetus as well as other systems and organs.

Individuals with FASD may have a broad array of physical defects as well as cognitive, behavioural, emotional and learning problems.

These impairments are likely to be lifelong.

One reason for the lack of recognition of FASD is that inspite of more than 40 years of evidence, it is not officially recognized as a medical diagnosis in many countries, writes Dr. Popova and co–guest editor, Dr. Christina Chambers of the University of California at San Diego (UCSD).

After much effort, FASD was included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) in 2013—but only in the appendix as a condition warranting further research. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) only recognizes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Yet Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders —FASD — may be on the rise, due to increasing alcohol binge drinking and drinking during pregnancy among young women. The editors note that the increase may be due to the majority of pregnancies being unplanned in both developing and developed countries.

"FASD should be recognized as a growing public health issue, as alcohol's harmful effects on a fetus represent many cases of preventable disability globally," says Dr. Chambers, Professor of Pediatrics and Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). "The research studies in this special issue clearly demonstrate the need for such recognition."

In addition to the 11 original research papers in the current issue, the journal published a previous special FASD issue with nine papers in November 2013. Some of the studies in the current issue include:

• Russia: a survey of women of child-bearing age in their attitudes towards initiatives preventing alcohol use in pregnancy

• Republic of Congo: prevalence of smoking during pregnancy and its relationship to alcohol consumption in pregnancy

• Australia: changes in alcohol consumption during pregnancy over the past 10 years

• British Columbia, Canada: evaluation of a professional development program for elementary school teachers working with FASD children, suggests a positive effect on students' academic achievement and classroom behaviour

• British Columbia, Canada: evaluation of an outreach program for Aboriginal youth with suspected FASD, shows promise

• U.S.A.: assessing medical, neuropsychological and educational outcomes among adoptive children with and without FASD, who were previously institutionalized in Europe

• U.S.A.: substance abuse treatment and completion among women with and without FASD, with the intent of preventing "second-generation" FASD

• U.S.A.: evaluation of a screening tool, supported by family physicians in maternity clinics, identifying alcohol misuse, mental health problems, lack of social support and other lifestyle issues for women needing prenatal support

The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, the journal of the Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol, is supported by Canada's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and funding from the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, and one of the world's leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues.

CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.

AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.