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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
Google Search artcles published since 2007
 
September 9, 2011--------News Archive

Pregnancy Diet Influences Baby's Allergies
A possible link between what a mother eats during pregnancy and the risk of her child developing allergies has been identified.

When Do Infants Gain the Capacity for Pain?
The evidence suggests that developing brain networks become mature enough to identify pain as distinct from touch fairly late in development.

Early Motor Skill Training Jump Starts Infants
Study indicates infants at risk for autism could benefit from motor training.

September 8, 2011--------News Archive

Clue Found to Cause of Childhood Hydrocephalus
When it comes to the circuits that make up the olfactory system, it seems that sleep eliminates some smell receptors. Perhaps sleepless parenting of newborns preserves intense smell receptivity!

Sleep Controls Survival of "Smell" Neurons in Adults
When it comes to neurons that make up the olfactory system, it seems that sleep eliminates some smells. Perhaps sleepless parents are preserving intense smells!

Improving Treatment of Craniosynostosis
Craniosynostosis is a condition that causes the bone plates in the skull to fuse too soon.

September 7, 2011--------News Archive

In Socially Engaged Mice, White Fat Turns to Brown
Given an engaging place to live with greater opportunities for social stimulation, some energy-storing white fat is transformed to energy-burning brown fat.

Lifetime 'Dose' of Excess Weight Linked to Diabetes
Degree and duration of obesity in adolescents and young adults are important for type 2 diabetes risk, especially for Hispanics and blacks.

Mom's Use of Oxycodone Not Safe for Breastfeeding
Doctors have been prescribing codeine for postpartum pain management for many years. Until recently, it was considered safe to breastfeed while taking.

September 6, 2011--------News Archive

New Map of Where Tastes are Coded in the Brain
How Does the Brain Know What the Tongue Knows?

Phthalates and Decrease In Mental-Motor Growth
Phthalates are endocrine-disrupting chemicals widely present in the environment, and are linked to increased behavioral problems at age 3.

Missing Genes Separate Coach Potato from Action
You may think your lack of resolve to get off the couch to exercise is because you're lazy, but research has discovered it may be you are missing key genes.

September 5, 2011--------News Archive

Found, Gene Defect Predisposing You to Leukemia
Those at risk because of family history may soon obtain tests to detect the genetic error before symptoms emerge.

New Blood Sugar Control for Diabetes
Study finds inflammation may be part of the solution, not the problem.

WHO Child Growth Charts

Old map of our senses and the relative amount of brain area given to each.

Each taste, from sweet to salty, is sensed by a unique set of neurons in the brains of mice, new research reveals. The findings demonstrate that neurons that respond to specific tastes are arranged discretely in what the scientists call a “gustotopic map.” This is the first map that shows how taste is represented in the mammalian brain.

There’s no mistaking the sweetness of a ripe peach for the saltiness of a potato chip – in part due to highly specialized, selectively-tuned cells in the tongue that detect each unique taste. Now, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and NIH scientists have added to our understanding of how we perceive taste, showing that four of our basic tastes—sweet, bitter, salty, and “umami,” or savory—are also processed by distinct areas of the brain. The researchers published their work in the September 2, 2011, issue of the journal Science.

“This work~further reveals coding in the taste system via labeled lines, and~it exposes the basic logic for the brain representation of the last~of the classical five senses,” said Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Charles S. Zuker, who is at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

“The way that we perceive the sensory world has been something that’s fascinated humanity throughout our whole existence,” says Nicholas J. P. Ryba of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, who collaborated with Zuker on the new study. “What is a taste, really? It’s the firing of a set of neurons in the brain, and that’s what we want to understand.”

In the past, researchers had measured the electrical activity of small clusters of neurons to see which areas of a mouse’s brain were activated by different tastes. In those experiments, the areas responding to different tastes seemed to blend together, and scientists therefore concluded that neurons appeared to process all tastes broadly.

Zuker, Ryba, and other collaborators had previously identified unique taste receptors and taste receptor cells for each taste – uncovering a “one taste, one cell class” coding scheme. Activating these receptor cells triggered innate behaviors in mice: attraction to sweet, umami, and low salt and aversion to bitter, sour, and high salt.

With this clear link between taste and “hardwired” behaviors, the researchers wondered why different tastes would be processed by the same neurons in the brain. They suspected that the previous experiments had missed something. So Xiaoke Chen, a postdoctoral associate in Zuker’s lab tried a powerful new technique, called two-photon calcium imaging, to determine which neurons responded when an animal is exposed to different taste qualities.

When a neuron is activated, it releases a wave of calcium throughout the cell. So the level of calcium can serve as a proxy for measuring activation of neurons. The researchers injected dye into the neurons of mice that made those cells light up with fluorescence every time calcium was released. Then, they looked at the brains of the mice under high-powered microscopes that allowed them to watch hundreds of nerve cells at a time deep within the brain of mice.

When a cell was activated, the researchers saw it fluoresce. This allowed them to monitor the activity of large ensembles of cells, as opposed to previous methods, which tracked only a few cells at a time. They observed that when a mouse is given something bitter to taste, or the receptors on its tongue that sense bitter are stimulated, many neurons in one small, specific area of the brain light up. When the mouse is given something salty, an area a few millimeters away is activated. Each taste corresponded to a different hotspot in the brain. None of the areas overlapped—in fact, there was space between all of them.

“The idea of maps in the brain is one that has been found in other senses,” says Ryba. “But in those cases the brain maps correspond to external maps.”

Different frequencies of sound activate different sets of neurons, for example. In the case of these auditory neurons, the map is arranged in order of frequency, from the lowest to the highest.

Visual neurons are found in an arrangement that mimics the field of vision sensed by the eyes.

However, taste offers no preexisting arrangement before reaching the brain; furthermore, the receptors for all tastes are found randomly throughout the tongue—thus the spatial organization of taste neurons into a topographic brain map is all the more surprising.

Zuker says that now the team has discovered a brain map for taste qualities, they next want to uncover “how taste combines with other sensory inputs like olfaction and texture, and the internal state—hunger and expectation, for example—to choreograph flavor, taste memories, and taste behaviors.”

Original article: http://www.hhmi.org/news/zuker20110902.html

Founded in 1953 by aviator and industrialist Howard R. Hughes, HHMI is headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and employs more than 3,000 individuals across the United States. It has an endowment of $14.8 billion.