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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 SemestersFemale Reproductive SystemFertilizationThe Appearance of SomitesFirst TrimesterSecond TrimesterThird TrimesterFetal 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 HemispheresEnd of Embryonic PeriodEnd of Embryonic PeriodFirst Thin Layer of Skin AppearsThird TrimesterDevelopmental Timeline
Click weeks 0 - 40 and follow fetal growth
Google Search artcles published since 2007
 
September 30, 2011--------News Archive

Estrodial A Unisex Hormone Essential To Metabolism
Possible treatment options could result for diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

Remove Fibroids - Prevent Recurrent Miscarriages
Research has found the first, firm evidence that fibroids are associated with recurrent miscarriages.

Understanding How Brain White Matter Develops
Study findings indicate a key step in the generation of white matter and understanding developmental disabilities.

'Alarm Clock' Gene Wakes-Up Biological Clock
Finding promises insight into sleeplessness, aging and chronic illness, such as diabetes and cancer.

September 29, 2011--------News Archive

Control Gene for Developmental Timing Discovered
Research has identified a key regulator controlling the speed of development in fruit flies. Blocking this regulator sped up the animals' rate of maturity.

Low Zinc/Copper Might Cause Spontaneous Abortion
This hypothesis had never been proven before in humans, and now has been demonstrated by University of Granada research.

Scientists Identify New Brain Stem Cell Activity
Finding raises questions of how the human brain develops and evolves.

Millesecond Memory
'Teleportation' of rats sheds light on how the memory is organized.

September 28, 2011--------News Archive

What Do Infants Remember, What Do They Forget?
In fact, they understand that objects once seen, should not disappear.

Found: New Gene Region for Testicle Development
Research has found a new genetic region which may control testicle development in the foetus.

September 27, 2011--------News Archive

Severe/Moderate Preemie Lung Function Improves
The negative effects of premature birth, whether moderately premature or extremely so, may be reversed by their teenage years.

Mom's Exercise Protects Baby From Alzheimer's
New research suggests prenatal exercise improves brain plasticity, decreases toxic protein deposits, inflammation and oxidative stress, warding off Alzheimer's.

Predicting the Best Treatment for Breast Cancer
Researchers identify new genes that help determine breast cancer prognosis.

September 26, 2011--------News Archive

Key Step Reprograms Adult Cells to Mimic Stem Cells
UNC researchers identify an important difference in sperm cell reprogramming needed to initiate formation of the embryo.

First USA Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy for Paralysis
The trial is being run by Geron Corp. of Menlo Park, Calif., which developed and manufactures the cells being tested.

UK Begins Stem Cell Trial for Disorder of the Retina
A new clinical trial using retinal cells derived from stem cells will treat people with an inherited eye condition which causes loss of sight in young people.

Pregnancy Occupation Can Cause Asthma in Child
Mothers who are exposed to particular agents during pregnancy could give birth to children with a higher risk of asthma, according to new research.

WHO Child Growth Charts

Researchers have found the first, firm evidence that fibroids are associated with recurrent miscarriages (RM). The've also discovered that when removed, fibroids that distorted the inside of the womb, risk of miscarriage in the second trimester of pregnancy was reduced to zero.

The study, which is published online in Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction, is the culmination of 20 years of investigation into recurrent miscarriage by Professor Tin-Chiu Li and his team at the recurrent miscarriage clinic at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals (Sheffield, UK).

In addition, for the first time the study has given a reliable estimate of the prevalence of fibroids in women who have recurrent miscarriages.

Fibroids in or around the womb (uterus) are benign tumours composed of muscle and fibrous tissue.

Although they have been associated with spontaneous miscarriage, until now there has been no evidence of their role in recurrent miscarriages (RM). The prevalence of fibroids has been estimated to be between 3-10% in women of reproductive age, but the prevalence is unknown in women who experience RM, which is defined as three or more consecutive miscarriages.

The researchers analysed data from 966 women who attended the Sheffield RM clinic. The women were scanned for uterine anomalies, including fibroids, via transvaginal ultrasound and radiology, and 79 were found to have fibroids. "This enabled us to calculate that the prevalence of fibroids was 8.2% among women with recurrent miscarriages; this has never been accurately reported before," said one of the researchers, Dr Sotirios Saravelos, who is a clinical research Fellow at the University of Sheffield.

Fibroids were diagnosed and grouped into three classifications:
Submucosal – these grow in the muscle beneath the inner lining of the womb wall and grow into the middle of the womb, distorting the cavity
Intramural – these develop in the muscle wall of the womb and are the most common type of fibroid. They do not distort the cavity and have less than 50% protrusion into the serosal surface – the outer membrane lining the womb
Subserosal – these grow outside the wall of the womb into the pelvis, do not distort the womb cavity, and have a greater than 50% protrusion out of the serosal surface.

Prof Li used minimally invasive surgery (hysteroscopy) to remove cavity-distorting (submucosal) fibroids from 25 women; 54 women with fibroids that did not distort the cavity had no surgery and they were matched with a control group of 285 women whose recurrent miscarriages were still unexplained after all investigations found nothing abnormal; these women also had no intervention.

In the 25 women who had undergone surgery, miscarriage rates in subsequent pregnancies during the second trimester fell from 21.7% to 0%. This translated to an increase in the live birth rate from 23.3% to 52%.

Dr Saravelos: "This is the first time that it has been shown that removing fibroids that distort the uterine cavity may increase the chances of a subsequent live birth in women with recurrent miscarriages."

The 54 women with fibroids not distorting the uterine cavity and who had had no surgery also did better after referral to the RM clinic. Pre-referral, the miscarriage rate during the second trimester was 17.6% and this fell to 0% after referral. Live birth rates went up from 20.6% to 70.4% in subsequent pregnancies. This was similar to results from the 285 women with unexplained RM; the second trimester miscarriage rate was 8% pre-referral to the clinic, falling to 1.8% post-referral, while live birth rates increased from 20.6% to 71.9% after referral.

Dr Saravelos: "These results are interesting because they suggest that the finding of fibroids in women with recurrent miscarriage does not necessarily imply that the fibroids are the only cause of the miscarriage.

In addition, they suggest that surgical intervention is not the only means whereby patients with recurrent miscarriage benefit from attending a specialised, dedicated clinic. However, for women with fibroids that distort the uterine cavity, our work shows that removing the fibroids can eliminate miscarriage during the second trimester and double the live birth rate in subsequent pregnancies.

It has been recognised since the 1980s that women with unexplained recurrent miscarriage have very good pregnancy outcomes following referral to a dedicated clinic without the need for any intervention, and with psychological supportive care, i.e. tender loving care, alone.

This usually takes the form of regular visits to a dedicated recurrent miscarriage clinic, regular antenatal scans to check the condition of the baby, reassurance to the mother from the specialist that everything is progressing well and specialist antenatal counselling throughout the pregnancy.

Interestingly, although women may increase their live birth rate by up to 50% after psychological supportive care, the exact underlying mechanisms involved in this process are not entirely understood.

In the present study, the fact that women with fibroids not distorting the uterine cavity do so well, suggests that they also do not have an underlying cause for recurrent miscarriage. As a result, they can also be considered as having 'unexplained recurrent miscarriage', and should be counselled that they have very good chances of a successful pregnancy without the need for any intervention or surgery and with the psychological supportive care offered by a dedicated recurrent miscarriage clinic."

The main limitation of the study is that there was no control group for the women who had their fibroids removed and so it is not possible to tell whether they would have done better without surgery, after referral to the RM clinic. The researchers believe their work highlights the need to perform a randomised controlled trial to investigate this possibiity.

"The definitive study requires the recruitment of a rather large number of patients to be randomised between intervention and no intervention. This would require the input of several clinics in a multi-centre randomised controlled trial and its success would depend on the support of all clinics along with that of Sheffield," said Dr Saravelos.


Article published: "The prevalence and impact of fibroids and their treatment on the outcome of pregnancy in women with recurrent miscarriage", by Sotirios H. Saravelos, Junhao Yan, Hassan Rehmani, and Tin-Chiu Li. Human Reproduction journal. doi:10.1093/humrep/der293

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-09/uoh-ure092911.php