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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 23, 2011--------News Archive

Brain Wiring Continues Well Into Our 20s
The human brain doesn’t stop developing at adolescence, but continues well into our 20s, research from the University of Alberta demonstrates.

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked With Severe Asthma
Children with severe therapy-resistant asthma may have poorer lung function and worse symptoms due to lower levels of vitamin D in their blood.

Reprogramming Muscle Stem Cells to Regenerate
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have turned back the clock on mature muscle tissue, coaxing it back to form new muscle.

September 22, 2011--------News Archive

BPA Changes In-Vitro Egg, Risking Down Syndrome
Bisphenol A is omnipresent in the plastic of common products such as beverage bottles, cans or baby bottles.

'Contaminants' Detected in Narragansett Watershed
Researchers say 'Emerging contaminants of concern' have been detected throughout the Narragansett Bay watershed.

New Plastics for Baby Bottles, Shopping Bags, More
With most of the plastics that define modern life dating to the1930s-1960s, a new breed of these ubiquitous materials are starting to gain a foothold.

September 21, 2011--------News Archive

Epigenetic Changes Don't Always Last
The first comprehensive inventory of epigenetic changes over several generations, shows that these changes often do not last.

Vacuum Device Makes Cellular Exploration Easier
New floating microscopic device will allow researchers to study a wide range of cellular processes.

September 20, 2011--------News Archive

11 Genetic Regions Link Schizophrenia/Bipolar Risk
Common genetic variants contribute to the risk of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, an international research consortium has discovered.

Pediatric Brain Tumors
Regulatory protein presents potential drug target.

Crosstalk Between Bone, Fat and Pancreatic Cells
Cells in bone, fat and the pancreas appear to be talking to each other and one thing they likely are saying is, "Get moving."

September 19, 2011--------News Archive

Gene Catastrophe Causes Developmental Delay
Research has identified some cases of developmental delay or cognitive disorders associated with a sudden chromosomal catastrophe early in development.

Mom's High-Fat Diet 'Programs' Her Baby to Be Fat
This is the first study to demonstrate that a long-term maternal high-fat diet results in the deposition, in utero, of excess body fat in the newborn.

Length of Song Linked to Size of Upper Bird Brain
Research has proven that the capacity for learning in birds is not linked to overall brain size, but to the relative size and proportion of their specific brain regions.

WHO Child Growth Charts


Song bred canaries have very specific types of songs.

Call a bird "birdbrained" and they may call "fowl." Cornell University researchers have found that songbirds with upper brain regions that are larger in relation to lower brain regions, have a greater capacity for learning songs.

Higher brain areas control the majority of cognitive and learning functions, while lower brain areas control more motor functions, according to the new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The research shows that when a bird's higher cortex-like brain area called the high vocal center (HVC) is larger relative to the lower brain area called RA, or if the RA is large relative to an even lower area called N12, the species is able to learn dozens of different notes. Such species as mockingbirds, catbirds, European blackbirds and European warblers can learn hundreds of notes because they have those relative size differences in both sets of areas.

"HVC size by itself only modestly predicts capacity for song learning, but relative size is a very strong predictor," said Tim DeVoogd, professor of psychology and of neurobiology and behavior and the paper's senior author. Jordan Moore, a graduate student in DeVoogd's lab, was the paper's lead author. "Our work is the first to demonstrate a basic principle of evolution using a specific behavior – having greater cortical control of brain function gives greater behavioral flexibility, including enhanced learning."

In bird species with great capacities for song learning, higher brain areas likely became built up over lower areas as a result of sexual selection, he said, where females mated with males that had more elaborate songs. Repeated over millions of generations, the structure of the brains of these species changed such that higher brain areas became larger relative to lower areas.

The research suggests that relative brain area sizes may offer a mechanism by which a prominent form of evolution has worked.

In birds and perhaps in humans, selection for increased learning capacity may have acted by prolonging the development of the last parts of the brain to grow. Humans are able to speak and to set and achieve complex goals because of prolonged development of higher brain areas, such as the cortex and frontal cortex in particular.

These areas of the brain are the last to mature and do not fully develop until humans are in their early 20s, DeVoogd said.

In the study, the researchers collected three males each from 49 common species representing an extensive variety of songbirds from the United States, Europe and South Africa, where each bird was actively singing to attract females as part of his reproductive cycle. They then examined and measured the brain areas.

"Motor pathway convergence predicts syllable repertoire size in oscine birds," published Sept. 12, 2011 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Co-authors included Tamas Szekely of the University of Bath and Jozsef Buki of the Hungarian Ornithological Institute. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Hungarian Joint Scientific Fund.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-09/cu-sml091611.php