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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.
Content protected under a Creative Commons License.

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 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 by 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

Aclose-up of a bone marrow by Daniel E. Sabath, University of Washington (UW) professor of laboratory medicine.

A newly published study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health heightens concerns over the potential health effects on children of a group of ubiquitous chemicals known as phthalates.

Phthalates are a class of chemicals that are known to disrupt the endocrine system, and are widely used in consumer products ranging from plastic toys, to household building materials, to shampoos.

Recent studies of school-age children have provided preliminary links between prenatal exposure to phthalates and developmental problems. The study is the first to examine prenatal phthalate exposure and the prevalence of mental, motor and behavioral problems in children who are in the preschool years. The paper, published online in Environmental Health Perspectives, adds to rising concerns about the risks associated with exposures to phthalates during pregnancy.

The study followed the children of 319 non-smoking inner-city women who gave birth between 1999 and 2006. Researchers, led by Robin M. Whyatt, DrPH, deputy director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, measured metabolites of four phthalates in maternal urine as markers of prenatal exposure.

The phthalates were: di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, di-isobutyl phthalate, di-n-butyl phthalate and butylbenzyl phthalate. The study evaluated associations between prenatal exposures to these phthalates and child mental, motor and behavioral development at age 3 years.

The scientists used the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II, a well validated developmental test, to assess the mental and motor development of the children. Behavioral problems were measured by asking mothers to complete the widely used 99-item Child Behavior Checklist (for ages 1½-5 years).

Overall, researchers found that higher prenatal exposures to two of the phthalates significantly increased the odds of motor delay, an indication of potential future problems with fine and gross motor coordination.

Among girls, one of the phthalates was associated with significant decreases in mental development. Prenatal exposures to three of the phthalates were also significantly associated with behavior problems including emotionally reactive behavior, anxiety/depression, somatic complaints and withdrawn behavior. These effects differed somewhat by child sex but were statistically significant among both boys and girls.

"Our results suggest that prenatal exposure to these phthalates adversely affects child mental, motor and behavioral development during the preschool years," said Dr. Whyatt, who is also professor of clinical Environmental Health Sciences. "The results add to a growing public health concern about the widespread use of phthalates in consumer products."

The actual mechanisms by which phthalates may affect the developing brain are still being explored. Dr. Whyatt points out that phthalates are endocrine disrupters—substances that affect hormone systems in the body. Evidence suggests that they impact the function of the thyroid gland. They also lower production of testosterone, which plays a critical role in the developing brain. "More work is needed to understand the biological effects of these commonplace substances," noted Dr. Whyatt.

"The results are concerning since increasing exposures from the lowest 25% to the highest 25% among the women in our study was associated with a doubling or tripling in the odds of motor and/or behavioral problems in the children," explained Pam Factor-Litvak, PhD, the senior epidemiologist on the study. "However, the number of children with clinical disorders was small," stated Dr. Factor-Litvak. The authors point out that the phthalate exposures among the women in the study varied widely reflecting the range of exposures found in the U.S. population.

The study was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Antonia Calafat from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who measured the phthalate metabolites in the maternal prenatal urine. Other members of the Columbia research team included Dr. Xinhua Liu, Dr. Virginia A. Rauh, Allan C. Just, Lori Hoepner, Diurka Diaz, James Quinn, Dr. Jennifer Adibi, and Dr. Frederica P. Perera.

The work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

About Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Founded in 1922 as one of the first three public health academies in the nation, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health pursues an agenda of research, education, and service to address the critical and complex public health issues affecting New Yorkers, the nation and the world. The Mailman School is the third largest recipient of NIH grants among schools of public health. The Mailman School is also home to numerous world-renowned research centers including the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP), the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, and the Center for Infection and Immunity. For more information, please visit www.mailman.columbia.edu

About the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health
The Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health (The Center) conducts community-based research in the United States and overseas to study the health effects of prenatal and early postnatal exposures to common urban pollutants, with the aim of preventing environmentally related conditions in children. The Center's overall mission is to improve prevention, clinical treatment, and engage community members to work effectively with each other and with elected officials to improve their neighborhood's environmental health.