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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
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August 19, 2011--------News Archive

Hydrodynamics Transform Embryonic Cells Into Us
Hydrodynamics 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

Adenine molecule survives UV light with varying responses
Adenine molecule floating above the Crab Nebula

Early Earth's atmosphere provided little shielding for ultraviolet light from space, so many prebiotic (before the advent of life on Earth) molecules, bombarded by it and light of other wavelengths, had a hard time surviving at all. Except for some.

Five of the many molecules that survived the bombardment from UV light were the nucleic acid bases adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine and uracil. In just published research, a University of Georgia physicist and a collaborator in Germany have shown that one of these building blocks of DNA and RNA, adenine, has an unexpectedly varying range of ionization (converting an atom or molecule into an ion by adding or removing charged particles) along its reaction pathways.

This means that understanding experimental data on how adenine survives exposure to UV light is much more complicated than previously thought. It also has far-reaching implications for spectroscopic measurements of heterocyclic compounds - those with atoms of at least two different elements in their rings.

"Photoprotection relies on the conversion of potentially harmful UV radiation into heat and has to operate on ultrafast time scales to compete over pathways that lead to the destruction of the biomolecule," said Susanne Ullrich, assistant professor in physics in the UGA department of physics and astronomy, part of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. "Disentangling these pathways and their time scales is challenging and requires a very close collaboration between experimentalists and theorists."

The research is in the online journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. Co-author of the paper is Mario Barbatti, a theorist at the Max-Planck Institute in Mulheim, Germany.

The quantum-chemical calculations created for the first time a baseline of how time-resolved spectroscopic techniques, based in photoionization (in which an incident photon of a gas ejects one or more electrons from an atom, ion or molecule), can be reliably used to study this class of molecules.

"Photostable organic molecules participated in the complex molecular evolution that led to the formation of life," said Ullrich. "Because of the significance of nucleic acid bases as the genetic coding material, the photophysics of nucleobases has received considerable theoretical and experimental attention. This new work can help clarify inconsistencies researchers have always found in studying photoionization and photoelectron spectra of adenine."

Ullrich and her team used a technique called time-resolved photoionization with femtosecond (a quadrillionth of a second) resolution to unravel the mechanisms that protect adenine against UV damage. For the spectroscopic measurements, they employed a state-of-the-art femtosecond laser and custom-built photoelectron and photoion spectrometer.

Adenine is vaporized and transported into the spectrometer in a supersonic jet expansion. A pump pulse excites the eperimental sample of molecules, and finally a probe pulse is used to examine the sample after an adjusted delay time.

This examination is based on the process of photoionization which removes an electron from the molecule. The kinetic energy of the released photoelectron is measured in the spectrometer and provides the information needed to establish photoprotection by adenine. Interpretation, however, heavily relies on the knowledge of ionization potentials (IP) along the relaxation pathways. (Ionization potential is the energy needed to remove an electron from the molecule.)

There has been a longstanding difference between theoretical and experimental results when it comes to studying the IP of adenine and trusting which surface adenine "relaxes" after it is excited with UV light. Understanding it more clearly could give new insights into how this important building block of life has continued to exist with stability in a world with millions of genetic threats.

"To our surprise, we found there were significant variations in the ionization energy between the two different regions on this pathway," said Barbatti. "Due to the general character of the three pathways we studied, we believe the IPs computed along them can be used as a general guide for helping with setup and analysis for more experiments, not only with adenine but other related compounds."

Before this work, little has been known about the behavior of ionization potentials for gaseous adenine in its excited state. Calling that a "knowledge gap," Barbatti and Ullrich say the new findings have "implications for experimental setup and data interpretation."

For more information on the UGA department of physics and astronomy in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, see http://www.physast.uga.edu/.