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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 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


In Carnegie Stage 7 of human embryo growth, gastrulation continues with the formation of a new cell layer changing the two-layered disc into a three-layered disc of endoderm, mesoderm, and now - ectoderm.


Research led by investigators from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and the Vanderbilt Eye Institute suggests that the protein BVES (blood vessel endocardial substance) – which also is key in regulating corneal cells – may be a therapeutic target for halting colon cancer metastasis.

The study, appearing in the October issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, further suggests that BVES may be important more broadly in many, or most, epithelial cancers.

About 85 percent of cancers originate in epithelial cells that form the body's external and internal linings (such as the skin and the lining of the gastrointestinal tract).

However, the main clinical concern is not the primary tumor, but the potential for that tumor to leave its tissue of origin and spread throughout the body (a process called "metastasis").

A critical step in metastatic progression of epithelial cancers happens when epithelial cells "revert" to a less differentiated state – a process called "epithelial-mesenchymal transition" or EMT.

Ophthalmologist Min Chang, M.D., studies the healing process in the cornea, perhaps the most highly regulated epithelium in the body. From collaborative studies with David Bader, Ph.D., who discovered BVES and showed its importance in heart development, Chang found that BVES was highly expressed and regulated in corneal cells.

When BVES is disrupted in corneal cells, they become disorganized, almost "cancer-like," noted Chang, an assistant professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and co-author on the study.

Chang then brought these findings to the attention of colleague Christopher Williams, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology and co-author on the study.

"When he described these cells, it sounded a lot like the way cancer cells looked when they were undergoing metastasis," Williams said. "So it seemed reasonable to look in cancer for BVES-dependent phenotypes."

Chang and Williams teamed up with the lab of Daniel Beauchamp, M.D., to assess BVES expression in human colorectal cancers. They found that BVES levels were very low in all stages of colon cancer. They also noted decreased BVES levels in many other types of epithelial cancers (including breast) and in several colorectal cancer cell lines.

To uncover why BVES levels were reduced, the investigators enlisted the help of Wael El-Rifai, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues. They determined that the BVES promoter (a DNA region that controls gene expression) was heavily modified (methylated), which silenced its expression.

In cell experiments, the researchers showed that treating cells with a "demethylating" agent - the drug decitabine, which is currently used to treat myelodysplastic disorders - restored BVES expression.

When BVES was expressed in colorectal cancer cell lines, they became more epithelial in nature and their tumor-like characteristics decreased.

These findings suggest that treatment with agents to increase BVES levels might provide a way to decrease aggressive behaviors of colorectal and other epithelial cancers.

"In cancer, typically the primary tumor doesn't kill you; it's the metastatic disease that proves lethal," said Williams. "So if targeting BVES could interfere with metastasis, that would be very exciting."

The researchers also identified signaling pathways involved in BVES function that may represent other therapeutic targets – and that reveal new insights into the normal biological function of BVES. The findings could have implications in wound healing and other normal functions of epithelial cells, as well as for many types of epithelial cancer.

"We don't think it's just isolated to the colon; it pertains to a broad lot of epithelial cancers," Chang noted. "And that's a lot of cancers."

The research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders, National Cancer Institute, National Center for Research Resources, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and the National Eye Institute.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-09/vumc-pfi091311.php