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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
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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

Stepping outside to smoke a cigarette may not be enough to protect the lungs and life of a pregnant woman's unborn child, according to a new study in the American Journal of Physiology.

The study, by researchers at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed), found prenatal exposure to toxic components of a newly recognized category of tobacco smoke—known as "thirdhand smoke"—can have as serious or an even more negative impact on an infants' lung development as postnatal or childhood exposure to smoke. Thirdhand smoke is the newly formed toxins from tobacco smoke that remain on furniture, in cars, on clothing and on other surfaces—long after smokers have finished their cigarettes.

"Thirdhand smoke is a stealth toxin because it lingers on the surfaces in the homes, hotel rooms, casinos and cars used by smokers where children, the elderly and other vulnerable people may be exposed to the toxicants without realizing the dangers," said Virender Rehan, MD, a principal investigator at LA BioMed and corresponding author of the study. "Pregnant women should avoid homes and other places where thirdhand smoke is likely to be found to protect their unborn children against the potential damage these toxins can cause to the developing infants' lungs.

Dr. Rehan, a National Institutes of Health-funded investigator who has been researching the effects of smoking on lung development for more than a decade, said this is the first study to show the exposure to the constituents of thirdhand smoke is as damaging and, in some cases, more damaging than secondhand smoke or firsthand smoke.

"We looked at the mechanisms that drive normal lung development and found those mechanisms were clearly disrupted by thirdhand smoke," he said. "Based on this, we can conclude that prenatal disruption of lung development can lead to asthma and other respiratory ailments that can last a lifetime."

Thirdhand smoke is aged secondhand smoke, and it attaches to the surfaces in homes and other surroundings. It is composed of smaller, ultrafine particles with a greater molecular weight that pose a greater asthma hazard than firsthand or secondhand smoke. Although concerns about the dangers from thirdhand smoke have been raised recently, this new study is the first to provide biological data to support these concerns.

Dr. Rehan said touching surfaces contaminated with thirdhand smoke, as well as ingesting dust containing the superfine particles of thirdhand smoke, are the most likely major pathways for exposure to these toxins.

"Children and pregnant mothers in busy households are especially susceptible to thirdhand smoke exposure because they could touch or breathe in the toxic substances from contaminated surfaces," he said. "Among infants, it has been found that the rate of ingesting dust is more than twice that of adults, making babies especially vulnerable to the effects of thirdhand smoke."

He also noted that nicotine levels are six times lower among infants living in homes with strict no-smoking policies.

"The dangers of thirdhand smoke span the globe because smoking is more prevalent in many other countries than it is in the United States," he said. "While further study is needed, the alarming data clearly highlight the potential risks and long-term consequences of thirdhand smoke exposure."

While previous studies had documented the danger of nicotine in thirdhand smoke, this new study measured the effect of two other toxins in thirdhand smoke—1-(N-methyl-N-nitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridinyl)-4-butanal (NNA) and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK). The researchers found prenatal exposure to thirdhand tobacco smoke components plays a much greater role in altered lung function in offspring than postnatal or childhood exposures.

The study was published online and is scheduled for publication in an upcoming special edition of the American Journal of Physiology on the effects of smoking. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (Grant Nos. HL75405, HD51857, HD058948 and HL55268) and the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (Grant Nos. 14RT-0073, 15IT-0250 and 17RT-0170.)

Founded in 1952, LA BioMed is one of the country's leading nonprofit independent biomedical research institutes. It has more than 150 principal researchers conducting studies into improved treatments and cures for cancer, inherited diseases, infectious diseases, illnesses caused by environmental factors and more. It also educates young scientists and provides community services, including immunization and childhood nutrition programs. LA BioMed is academically affiliated with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and located on the campus of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. For more information, please visit www.LABioMed.org

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-04/labr-lbs041911.php