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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
Google Search artcles published since 2007
 
August 18, 2011--------News Archive

Hydrodynamics Transform Embryonic Cells Into Us
H
ydrodynamics can contribute to our understanding of how a cluster of embryonic cells can transform into an animal.

New Data on Adenine, a Crucial Building Block of Life
The five nucleic acids making up DNA are some of the few that can withstand ultraviolet light. But adenine turns out to have an extensive range of respones.


August 18, 2011--------News Archive

Pluripotent Stem Cells Developmentally Immature
Researchers have discovered that though similar, induced pluripotent stem cells are similar to embryonic stem cells, but are much more developmentally immature.

Change the Environment, Not the Child
National study finds equal benefit for children with cerebral palsy.


August 17, 2011--------News Archive

Molecular Delivery Serves Gene Therapy Cocktail
Scientists have devised a gene therapy cocktail that has the potential to treat some inherited diseases associated with "misfolded" proteins.

Children of Depressed Mothers Have a Different Brain
MRI scans show their children have an enlarged amygdala.

Discovery Likely to Spur Medicine and Human Health
Scientists have gained new insight into the relationship between two proteins that, out of balance, can prevent normal development of stem cells in the heart.


August 16, 2011--------News Archive

Study Finds New Role for Protein in Hearing
A protein involved in sound sensing in the inner ear may also play a role in transmitting sound information to the brain.

Retinoblastoma Made of Hybrid Cells
Scientists settle a century-old debate about retinoblastoma's beginnings and identify new targets for treating the childhood eye tumor.

Can Oral Care for Babies Prevent Future Cavities?
A recent study confirms the presence of bacteria associated with early childhood caries (ECC) in infant saliva.


August 15, 2011--------News Archive

Slowing the Allergic March
Researchers identify a target that could combat allergies of early childhood.

Gene Clue in the Development of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Findings will help lead to personalized therapies for common, complex illnesses characterized by abnormal immune responses.

Sight Re-Constructs Moving Objects: One by One
Our visual system groups areas of the world with similar characteristics, such as color, shape, or motion.

WHO Child Growth Charts

Researchers think that brains are sensitive to the quality of child care, according to a study that was directed by Dr. Sonia Lupien and her colleagues from the University of Montreal published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The scientists worked with ten year old children whose mothers exhibited symptoms of depression throughout their lives, and discovered that the children's amygdala, a part of the brain linked to emotional responses, was enlarged.

Similar changes, but of greater magnitude, have been found in the brains of adoptees initially raised in orphanages. Personalized attention to children's needs may be the key factor. "Other studies have shown that mothers feeling depressed were less sensitive to their children's needs and were more withdrawn and disengaged," explained Drs. Sophie Parent and Jean Séguin of the University of Montreal's, who followed the children over the years.

Scientists have established that the amygdala is involved in assigning emotional significance to information and events, and it contributes to the way we behave in response to potential risks. The need to learn about the safety or danger of new experiences may be greater in early life, when we know little about the world around us. Indeed, studies on other mammals, such as primates, show that the amygdala develops most rapidly shortly after birth.

"We do not know if the enlargement that we have observed is the result of long-term exposure to lower quality care. But we show that growing up with a depressed mother is associated with enlarged amygdala."

"Having enlarged amygdala could be protective and increase the probability of survival," Lupien said.

The amygdala may be protective through a mechanism that produces stress hormones known as glucocorticoids. The researchers noted that the glucocorticoids levels of the children of depressed mothers who participated in this study increased significantly when they were presented with unfamiliar situations, indicating increased reactivity to stress in those children. Adults who grew up in similar circumstances as these children show higher levels of glucocorticoids and a greater glucocorticoid reaction when participating in laboratory stress tests.

"What would be the long term consequences of this increased reactivity to stress is unknown at this point."

Although this study cannot clarify the causes of enlarged amygdala, the researchers note that the adoption studies have also shown that children who were adopted earlier in life and into more affluent families than others did not have enlarged amygdala.

"This strongly suggests that the brain may be highly responsive to the environment during early development and confirms the importance of early intervention to help children facing adversity," Lupien said. "Initiatives such as prenatal and infancy nurse home visits and enriched day care environments could mitigate the effects of parental care on the developing brain."

Séguin adds, "Future studies testing the effects of these preventive programs and observational studies involving children exposed to maternal depressive symptoms at different ages, and consequently for different lengths of time, should provide more insight into how this occurs, its long term consequences, and how it can be prevented."

This study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on August 15, 2011, and was financed in part by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and Fonds de recherche en santé du Québec. The University of Montreal is officially known as Université de Montréal.

Study: "Larger amygdala but no change in hippocampal volume in 10-year-old children exposed to maternal depressive symptomatology since birth"
Université de Montréal
Fernand-Seguin Mental Health Research Centre
About the researchers:

Dr. Sonia Lupien is the Scientific Director of the Fernand-Seguin Research Centre at Louis-H Lafontaine Hospital, Director of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress, Senior Investigator Chair on Sex, Gender and Mental Health at the Canadian Institute of Gender and Health and Full Professor at Université de Montréal's Department of Psychiatry.

Dr. Jean Séguin is a Professor at Université de Montréal's Department of Psychiatry and a Researcher at the CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Centre.

Dr. Sophie Parent is the director of Université de Montréal's School of Psychoeducation.