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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
University Hospital of La Paz, Madrid, has created the first Spanish language tool to measure infant pain.

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

When an organism is forming, a signal appears temporarily triggering the fate of each cell's direction.

The plant hormone auxin plays that role as a signalling molecule during embryo development of the plant thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana).

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology and the University of Tübingen were already familiar with important intervals where auxin exerts its influence. They have now recreated a regulatory network where an increasing concentration of auxin can “switch on” genes for normal embryo development. After a certain point is reached, the genes do not halt their increased activity, even if the auxin concentration drops. Similar switching mechanisms are also known to exist in the animal kingdom.

In an early embryo, auxin increases in the cells located at the top of the embryo, leading to the formation of above-ground parts of the plant. After those cells are formed, auxin is transported into the lower cells. But a full explanation of the exact role of auxin was still needed.

Instead of carrying out experiments with thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) embryos, the scientists worked with thale cress protoplasts: living plant cells without a cell wall that offer a less complex environment for study. In test conditions using protoplasts, it is relatively easy to measure gene activity. Using the protoplasts, the scientists tested the effects of a gene-activating factor called MONOPTEROS and its inhibitor BODENLOS.

This and subsequent experiments showed that MONOPTEROS promotes its own production, as well as its inhibitor BODENLOS. A system of two linked feedback loops - and that linked system is controlled by auxin as seen through computer simulations.

“Everything points to the fact that auxin triggers a switch in the system,” says Steffen Lau.

It appears as the concentration of auxin increases, the breakdown of the inhibitor BODENLOS also increases. As a result, MONOPTEROS is weakly blocked. At a specific auxin concentration, the MONOPTEROS-BODENLOS system is boosted to a higher level of activity.

This regulatory mechanism in the embryonic development of plants was not previously understood, and displays similarities to a signalling pathway in embryonic stem cells in mammals.

The Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology conducts basic research in the fields of biochemistry, genetics, and cell and evolutionary biology. It employs about 325 people and is located on the Max Planck Campus in Tübingen.

Steffen Lau, Ive De Smet, Martina Kolb and Gerd Jürgens from the Department of Cell Biology and Hans Meinhardt, are all from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen. The Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology is one of 80 research institutes of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science in Germany.