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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


Children need regular vigorous exercise to keep not only their bones healthy.

A small study of obese children enrolled in after-school exercise programs showed 12 weeks of vigorous exercise resulted in stronger bones, improved insulin sensitivity (reduced diabetes risk) and less of the most-deadly belly, or visceral, fat, Georgia Health Sciences University researchers report.

It also indicated that blood levels of the hormone osteocalcin, made by bone-producing osteoblasts, might be a good indicator of how things are going in all three areas, said Dr. Norman Pollock, bone biologist at GHSU's Georgia Prevention Institute.

Pollock's finding is some of the earliest human evidence of this crosstalk among the divergent cell types. Dr. Gerard Karsenty, Chairman of Genetics and Development at Columbia University Medical Center, provided the first evidence of their conversation in animals. In those studies, animals receiving osteocalcin experienced improved insulin sensitivity, less belly fat and denser bones. Osteocalcin levels have primarily been associated with bone growth.

The work earned Pollock a 2011 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research Young Investigator Award. He is presenting the finding during the society's annual September meeting in San Diego.

There have been pieces of evidence of this communication in humans: people with diabetes get a lot of bone fractures; those with more visceral fat are at risk for diabetes; and bone cells have insulin receptors. Ask Pollock why a bone cell would have an insulin receptor and he says it's a question that many are trying to answer with studies such as this one.

"The idea is that bones can possibly sense environmental stimuli such as being physically active or sedentary and dictate energy regulation accordingly," he said. The reality is bones get bigger and stronger with exercise and they appear to be sharing the good news.

"When osteocalcin is released in your blood, that hormone is talking back to the adipocytes, the cells that store fat, and the pancreatic cells that release insulin to improve energy metabolism."

Bone researchers like Pollock have previously believed bones were just listening.

His study looked at children who were inactive as well as those who exercised 20 or 40 minutes daily. Osteocalcin levels were measured at the start and finish of the 12-week period in addition to standard assessments such as a glucose tolerance test for insulin sensitivity. They found a consistent dose-response so that the children who exercised the most experienced the most bone formation, improved insulin sensitivity and reduced visceral and total body fat.

Pollock notes that bone and fat cells do have a common ancestry: they are both derived from mesenchymal stem cells.

"It's possible that children's early lifestyle habits and experiences may induce alterations in body composition and predispose them to a lifetime of obesity," he said. "As parents, we must ensure that our children balance out their screen time with enjoyable physical activity."

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-09/ghsu-ecp091911.php