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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
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.

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.

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

Georgia Tech/Emory professor Barbara Boyan (left) and Joseph Williams of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite clinical director of craniofacial plastic surgery, are developing imaging techniques to predict if a child’s skull bones are likely to grow back together too quickly after surgery. They are also developing technologies to delay repeat of the premature fusion. Image by Gary Meek

Engineers and surgeons are working together to improve the treatment of babies born with craniosynostosis, a condition that causes the bone plates in the skull to fuse too soon. Treating this condition typically requires surgery after birth to remove portions of the fused skull bones, and in some cases the bones grow together again too quickly -- requiring additional surgeries.

Researchers in the Atlanta-based Center for Pediatric Healthcare Technology Innovation are developing imaging techniques designed to predict whether a child's skull bones are likely to grow back together too quickly after surgery. They are also developing technologies that may delay a repeat of the premature fusion process.

"Babies are usually only a few months old during the first operation, which lasts more than three hours and requires a unit of blood and a stay in the intensive care unit, so our goal is to develop technologies that will simplify the initial surgery and limit affected babies to this one operation," said center co-director Joseph Williams, clinical director of craniofacial plastic surgery at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Emory University.

Craniosynostosis affects approximately one in every 2,500 babies in the United States. The condition is caused by the premature closure of sutures with bone. Sutures, which are made of tissue that is more flexible than bone, play an important role in brain growth by providing a method for the skull to increase in size. If the sutures close too soon and get replaced with bony tissue, the skull may limit the normal expansion of the brain.

If untreated, craniosynostosis can cause a range of developmental problems. If treated using the standard treatment course, surgeons remove the fused skull bones, break them up, reposition them, and hold them in place with plates and screws. This usually slows bone growth between the bone pieces, allowing room for expansion of the brain. However, studies show that more than six percent of babies need a second operation to separate the bones again and 25 percent of those require a third operation.

"Following the first surgery, there's a clinical need to be able to screen children on a regular basis to predict when their skull bones are going to fuse together again so that the surgeons can determine if additional intervention will be required," said center director Barbara Boyan, the Price Gilbert, Jr. Chair in Tissue Engineering in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University and associate dean for research and innovation in the Georgia Tech College of Engineering.

To address this need, the researchers have developed a non-invasive technique to monitor bone growth with computed tomography images. They created software that identifies bone in the images, quantifies the distance between the bones, the mass of bone in the gap, and the area and volume of the gap. The research team has demonstrated the utility of this "snake" algorithm using a mouse model of cranial development and recently presented their findings at the 2011 Plastic Surgery Education Foundation conference.

"Using our snake algorithm to analyze computed tomography images of developing skulls in mice, we were able to monitor different types and speeds of bone growth on a daily basis for many weeks," said Chris Hermann, an M.D./Ph.D. student in the Coulter Department. "While one suture fused between 12 and 20 days and then significantly increased in mass for the next 20 days, another came closer together and increased in mass but remained largely open."

The research team recently adapted the technology for use in children and began a clinical study to determine the effectiveness of the algorithm to diagnose cases of craniosynostosis. The researchers hope this technology will improve the ability of physicians to diagnose and determine the severity of craniosynostosis.

In addition, the researchers are studying the biological basis of the condition and developing technologies they hope will delay bone growth and eliminate the need for additional operations. In one project, Coulter Department research scientist Rene Olivares-Navarrete and Williams are examining individuals with craniosynostosis to identify genes that influence suture fusion. Determining the genes that control suture closure may help the researchers identify potential therapeutic targets to prevent premature suture fusion.

The research team has also designed a gel to be injected into the gap created between skull bones during the first surgery. The material -- called a hydrogel because it contains a significant amount of water -- would deliver specific proteins to the area to delay, but not prevent, bone growth.

"The hydrogel cross-links spontaneously because of a reaction between a polyethylene-glycol monomer and a cross-linking molecule, allowing for polymerization without the use of chemical initiators or the production of free radicals," explained Hermann.

Preliminary results in a mouse model of cranial development indicate that the gel, developed in collaboration with Coulter Department associate professor Niren Murthy, can be injected into a gap between skull bones, firm up rapidly and not injure underlying soft tissues or impair bone healing. These pre-clinical results were presented at the Society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting in April.

Both Boyan and Williams see promise in using these technologies to improve the treatment of children with craniosynostosis and eliminate additional operations sometimes needed to treat the condition.

"During the initial surgery, injecting the gel may reduce the operation's severity if it eliminates the need for plates and screws to hold the skull bones in place afterward," explained Boyan, who is also a Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) Eminent Scholar. "After the surgery, if the computed tomography images tell us that the skull is closing too quickly, we may be able to inject the gel through the skin overlying the skull without surgery to further delay the bones from fusing."

The researchers are currently improving the protein release kinetics of the hydrogel and conducting pre-clinical experiments to determine which proteins successfully delay bone growth when included in the gel. Approval from the Food and Drug Administration will be required before this system and hydrogel can be used as a treatment for craniosynostosis.

The Center for Pediatric Healthcare Technology Innovation is supported by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, in collaboration with Georgia Tech.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-09/giot-dtt090611.php