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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
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September 16, 2011--------News Archive

Preschoolers' Math Performance Predicts Later Skill
Study reveals how early number sense and elementary math scores are related.

Estrogen Reverses Severe Pulmonary Hypertension
Pulmonary hypertension is a rare and serious condition that affects 2 to 3 million individuals in the U.S., mostly women, and can lead to heart failure.

September 15, 2011--------News Archive

Protein In Heart Target for Colon Cancer Therapies
A protein critical in heart development may also play a part in colon cancer progression.

Defining Hereditary Deafness
The precise diagnosis of disease and developmental syndromes often depends on understanding the specific genetics underlying each.

Engineers Probe Mechanics Behind Progeria
Pulling the tail of mutated protein could help illuminate problems with it's misfolding.

September 14, 2011--------News Archive

A Vaccine for TB?
A potential vaccine against tuberculosis has been found to completely eliminate tuberculosis bacteria from infected tissues in some mice.

Controlling Stem Cell's Form Can Determine Its Fate
The scaffolding on which stem cell cultures are grown has more influence on the new shape and function of those cells than ever expected.

September 13, 2011--------News Archive

Improving Women and Children's Health Worldwide
For less than $100, poor, pregnant women in India can give birth in a private hospital for low-income families, comparable in quality to expensive, private ones.

Found: Gene for 3 Child Neurodegenerative Diseases
Leukodystrophies are inherited disorders affecting the white matter of the brain and abnormally interferring with nerve impulses transmitted through axon cells.

Fast-Paced, Fantasy TV Affects Learning In Children
Young children who watch fast-paced, fantastical television shows may become handicapped in their readiness for learning.

September 12, 2011--------News Archive

Common Gene Associated With Aortic Dissection
Multi-institutional study reveals risk factor that doubles chance of developing silent killer.

Critical Similarity Between Two Stem Cell Types
Natural stem cells and laboratory induced stem cells (IPCs) create the same proteins.

WHO Child Growth Charts


A Montreal-led international team has identified the mutated gene responsible for three forms of leukodystrophies, a group of childhood-onset neurodegenerative disorders.

Mutations in this gene were identified in individuals from around the world but one mutation occurs more frequently in French-Canadian patients from Quebec.

Published in the September issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics and selected for the Editors' Corner of the journal, the findings are crucial to the development of diagnostic tests and genetic counseling for families, and provide insights into a new mechanism for these disorders of the brain.

Currently, there are no cures for leukodystrophies which are a group of inherited neurodegenerative disorders affecting the white matter of the brain. White matter serves to cover nerve cell projections called axons, allowing nerve impulses to be correctly transmitted.

Many children with a leukodystrophy appear normal at birth with very little or no indication that they have the disorder. Symptoms such as walking difficulties, falls or tremor gradually appear. As they grow older they lose mobility, speech and develop swallowing difficulties, and as teenagers are often wheelchair bound or bed ridden.

The majority of patients die prematurely. The evolution and symptoms vary according to the specific type of leukodystrophy. It is estimated that at least 30-40% of individuals with a leukodystrophy remain without a precise diagnosis despite extensive investigations.

The study identified the first mutations in the POLR3A gene in families from Quebec. Mutations in the same gene were found in patients from the USA, Syria, Guatemala, France, and other European countries.

The group was able to demonstrate that mutations in the same POLR3A gene localized on chromosome 10 were responsible for three clinically different forms of leukodystrophies:

  • Tremor-Ataxia with Central Hypomyelination (TACH) first described in Quebec cases
  • Leukodystrophy with Oligodontia (LO)
  • 4H syndrome or Hypomyelination, Hypodontia and Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism syndrome

“We identified many different mutations in the POLR3A gene which codes for a key subunit of RNA Polymerase III (Pol III), a highly conserved protein complex with a crucial role in gene expression, and many other important pathways,” explains Dr. Brais.

“This finding is surprising considering the fundamental role of Pol III. It is also an encouraging discovery because if we can identify which targets of Pol III, when decreased, lead to the disease, we could develop therapeutic strategies to replace them.”

The research was conducted in the laboratory of Dr Brais at the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM). Dr. Brais is now a clinician-scientist at The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, The Neuro at McGill University, and Dr. Geneviève Bernard has recently been recruited as a clinician-researcher at The Montreal Children’s Hospital, McGill University Health Centre.

The international team was led by Drs Bernard Brais and Geneviève Bernard and included scientists from Montreal, Washington D.C., Dallas, Beirut, Paris, Clermont-Ferrand, and Bordeaux.

This research was funded by the Fondation sur les Leucodystrophies, created by a Quebec couple whose child is affected, in order to find a cure for this orphan disease (www.leucofondation.com). Support was also provided by l’Association Européenne contre les Leucodystrophies (http://www.ela-asso.com). The shared mission of both foundations is to increase public awareness of the disease, raise much needed funds for research and provide families with help and support. Support was also provided by the Réseau de médicine génétique appliquée du Québec (RMGA) and by the Fonds de recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ).:

The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital — The Neuro, is a unique academic medical centre dedicated to neuroscience. The Neuro is a research and teaching institute of McGill University and forms the basis for the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. Founded in 1934 by the renowned Dr. Wilder Penfield, The Neuro is recognized internationally for integrating research, compassionate patient care and advanced training, all key to advances in science and medicine. Neuro researchers are world leaders in cellular and molecular neuroscience, brain imaging, cognitive neuroscience and the study and treatment of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and neuromuscular disorders. The Montreal Neurological Institute was named as one of the Seven Centres of Excellence in Budget 2007, which provided the MNI with $15 million in funding to support its research and commercialization activities related to neurological disease and neuroscience.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-09/mu-3i1091211.php