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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!




Pregnancy Timeline

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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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No dirivative works may be made or used for commercial purposes.

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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
September 2, 2011--------News Archive

'Gene Overdose' Causes Extreme Thinness
Scientists have discovered a genetic cause of extreme thinness for the first time.

Genetics Meets Metabolomics
A closer look at each individual's metabolites might lead to a better estimation for that individual's risk for developing complex common diseases.

September 1, 2011--------News Archive

Parents’ Stress Leaves Marks on Children’s Genes
Epigenetics changes the expression of genes, and can induce long lasting changes in our children when they are exposed our to stress.

Gene Defect Linked to Disfiguring Disorder
The faulty gene responsible for Proteus syndrome, a rare disorder of uncontrolled growth of certain body tissues and organs, has been identified.

August 31, 2011--------News Archive

Mom's Morning Sickness May Affect Infant Brain
Extreme morning sickness could lead to lifelong emotional, behavioral disorders in kids.

Stanford Invents Sutureless Joining of Blood Vessels
Sutures are difficult to use on blood vessels less than 1 mm wide. Now, Stanford University has a glue which works on extremely slim blood vessels 0.2 mm wide.

August 30, 2011--------News Archive

Mouse Model Brings New Ideas on Lafora Disease
Researchers at IRB Barcelona have demonstrated a link between abnormal sugar accumulation and the neuronal degeneration characteristic of Lafora disease.

Bilingual Babies' Display Early Brain Differentiation
Babies and children are whizzes at learning a second language, but that ability begins to fade as early as their first birthday.

August 29, 2011--------News Archive

Non Coding RNAs Direct Embryonic Development
Embryonic stem cells can either differentiate into cells of a specific lineage such as blood cells or neurons, or they can stay in a pluripotent state. Depending on RNAs.

Degrading One Protein Allows Cell to Divide
Found, a crucial element controlling segregation of genetic material from parent to daughter cells. Regulating CenH3 protein ensures correct cell division in Drosophila.

Going With the Flow
The egg develops through two asymmetric divisions, separating into daughter cells. However, microtubules don't pull apart the centromeres, just with the flow of actin.

A Light Answer to the Heavy Question of Cell Growth
A technique offers insight into the much-debated problem of whether cells grow at a constant rate or exponentially.

WHO Child Growth Charts

Jordan, 16, from Bexhill, UK, has Proteus syndrome, an extremely rare disorder that affects his fingers, spine and neck. At 14, he elected to undergo above-the-knee amputations of his legs, which had become severely affected by the condition, and now walks with prosthetic legs. Courtesy of the Proteus Syndrome Foundation UK

Named for a shape-shifting god from Greek mythology, Proteus syndrome affects fewer than 500 people in the developed world. Some body parts grow massively out of proportion, while other regions are unaffected. The sporadic overgrowth can affect nearly any tissue in the body. Its most famous victim may be 19th century Londoner John Merrick, also known as the “Elephant Man,” although his diagnosis has not been confirmed.

Proteus syndrome does not run in families, but faulty genes were believed to be responsible. Some experts proposed that the condition might be a genetic mosaicism. Mosaic disorders arise when a genetic mutation occurs spontaneously during embryonic development. All descendents of the cell with the mutation would then also carry the mutation, while other dividing cells remain unaffected. As a result, the disease-causing mutation would be found in only a subset of the body’s cells.

To test the mosaic hypothesis for Proteus syndrome, a research team led by scientists at NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) used whole-exome sequencing. This relatively new technique focuses on sequencing DNA's protein-coding regions, or exons, which make up about 1.5% of the genome. The study was described in the July 27, 2011, early online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The researchers analyzed the exomes of both normal and affected cells from 6 patients with Proteus syndrome, as well as family members. The analysis revealed a single-letter misspelling in the genome of affected cells. The mutated gene, called AKT1, is a known oncogene—a gene that can promote the uncontrolled cell growth associated with cancer. In fact, several potential cancer therapies are now being developed to inhibit the pathway involving this gene.

To confirm the link to Proteus syndrome, the scientists searched for the mutation in additional patients with the disorder. The suspect variant was found in 26 of the 29 people tested. By contrast, the variant was never found in unaffected people, including thousands of DNA sequences maintained in public genome research databases.

To study the functional effect of the mutation, the researchers analyzed the activation of the AKT protein in both affected and unaffected tissues from the patients. The analysis confirmed that affected tissue had increased AKT protein activity. The mutation thus acts like an accelerator of cell growth.

“We now have a better chance of making or finding a drug that can arrest this overgrowth and begin to use it early on in the disease progression,” says senior author Dr. Leslie Biesecker of NHGRI. “A factor in our favor is that it is much easier to find a drug that inhibits the activity of a protein, which is what we want to do with AKT in Proteus syndrome, than to activate a protein.”