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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 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 represents 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

Medulloblastomas constitute the most frequent class of malignant childhood brain tumor. Tumors of this type arise due to the uncontrolled proliferation of immature nerve cells in the developing brain, and there is no targeted treatment available.

A research team based at LMU‘s Center for Neuropathology and Prion Research and led by Privatdozent Dr. Ulrich Schüller has now demonstrated that the regulatory protein FoxM1 is essential for the continued growth of these tumor cells. Moreover, the level of FoxM1 expressed in the cells is significantly, and negatively, correlated with a patient’s survival time. The protein therefore provides a useful prognostic marker, which should allow oncologists to gauge the malignancy of tumors and select the most effective therapeutic strategy for the individual patient.

Furthermore, FoxM1 may provide a novel point of attack for the development of new ways to treat the condition. Schüller and his team were able to reduce FoxM1 levels in tumor cells by exposing them to the antibiotic siomycin A, and showed that the drug also inhibits tumor growth.

“If further work on laboratory cell cultures and in living organisms confirms these results, siomycin could turn out to be an effective drug for the treatment of medulloblastoma,” Schüller says. (Clinical Cancer Research, published OnlineFirst 14.September 2011)

Research conducted over the past 10 years has shown that medulloblastomas arise as a result of aberrant activation of certain molecular signals. Schüller and his team set out to determine whether the transcription factor FoxM1 plays a role in supporting the growth of this type of tumor and, if so, whether it might serve as a drug target for the development of an effective therapy for the disease.

Transcription factors determine the suite of proteins present in a given cell and define which of the genes encoded in the genomic DNA are copied into RNA which then programs a new combination of proteins.

The so-called Forkhead-box (Fox) proteins are factors particularly concerned with the regulation of cell growth, division and differentiation - fully differentiated cells do not proliferate further.

FoxM1 activates genes that promote cell division and simultaneously turns off genes that inhibit proliferation.

Since uncontrolled proliferation is the basic hallmark of cancer cells, understanding and manipulating the function of FoxM1 has become a focus of cancer research. In several different types of cancer, including cancers of the breast, lung and prostate gland, increased amounts of FoxM1 have been found in tumor tissue. Indeed the protein has been shown to be necessary for growth of these tumors. Schüller and his team have now shown that this also true for medulloblastomas.

“One important result was that the amount of FoxM1 present in medulloblastoma cells is correlated with patient survival time,” says Schüller.

Since it is relatively easy to estimate FoxM1 levels using laboratory tests, the molecule could possibly be used as a marker to guide the choice of treatment for each patient. Modern therapeutic options for medulloblastoma involve surgical removal of the tumor, followed by radiation and chemotherapy to eliminate any surviving tumor cells, but this approach has serious side-effects. Furthermore, there are six different subtypes of medulloblastoma, which are markedly differerent in their malignancy and clinical prognosis.

“That is why a good prognostic marker which could predict the aggressiveness of tumors would be so useful,” says Schüller. The clinician could then adapt the therapeutic approach to the patient’s individual needs, and avoid using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Since FoxM1 is indispensable for the growth of medulloblastoma cells, it represents a potentially ideal drug target.

With the aid of the antibiotic siomycin A - which specifically inhibits the production of FoxM1 - Schüller was able to inhibit the growth of medulloblastoma cells. His findings confirm and extend results by other groups who have reported that siomycin A also hinders the growth of breast cancer cells.

And most importantly, Schüller‘s experiments showed that although FoxM1 is essential for tumor growth, other factors can apparently substitute for it during normal development. Hence blocking the action of FoxM1 by administering siomycin A should have no bad effects on normal cells.

Thus the antibiotic may make it possible, for the first time, to intervene directly and specifically in the process that gives rise to medulloblastomas, and provide the first therapeutic option that targets a major driver of the growth of such tumors.

The work was carried out by the Max Eder Junior Research Group in Pediatric Neuro-oncology, which is led by Ulrich Schüller and is supported by grants from the Deutsche Krebshilfe. (göd/PH)

Publication: Expression of FoxM1 is required for the proliferation of medulloblastoma cells and indicates worse survival of patients.
M. Priller, J. Pöschl, L. Abrao, A.O. von Bueren, Y.-J. Cho, S. Rutkowski, H.A. Kretzschmar, U. Schüller
Clinical Cancer Research, Published OnlineFirst 14. September 2011
doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-1214

Original announcement:
http://www.en.uni-muenchen.de/news/newsarchiv/2011/2011_schueller.html