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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


Regular physiological events occur during certain hours of the day.


Many diseases also manifest during certain times of the day as well.

Ever wondered why you wake up in the morning ---- even when the alarm clock isn't making jarring noises? Wonder no more. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified a new component of the biological clock, a gene responsible for starting the clock from its restful state every morning.

The biological clock ramps up our metabolism early each day, initiating important physiological functions that tell our bodies that it's time to rise and shine. Discovery of this new gene and the mechanism by which it starts the clock everyday may help explain the genetic underpinnings of sleeplessness, aging and chronic illnesses, such as cancer and diabetes, and could eventually lead to new therapies for these illnesses.

"The body is essentially a collection of clocks," says Satchindananda Panda, an associate professor in Salk's Regulatory Biology Laboratory, who led the research along with Luciano DiTacchio, a post-doctoral research associate. "We roughly knew what mechanism told the clock to wind down at night, but we didn't know what activated us again in the morning. Now that we've found it, we can explore more deeply how our biological clocks malfunction as we get older and develop chronic illness."

In a report published today in the journal Science, the Salk researchers and their collaborators at McGill University and Albert Einstein College of Medicine describe how the gene KDM5A encodes a protein, JARID1a, that serves as an activation switch in the biochemical circuit that maintains our circadian rhythm.

The discovery fills in a missing link in the molecular mechanisms that control our daily wake-sleep cycle. The central player of our biological clock is a protein called PERIOD (PER). The number of PER proteins in each of our cells rises and falls every 24 hours. Our cells use the level of PER protein as an indicator of the time of the day and tell our body when to sleep or be awake.

Scientists knew that two genes, CLOCK and BMAL1, served as the key drivers for raising PER protein levels. As the level of PER protein rises during the day, reaching its peak around evening, it somehow puts a break on CLOCK and BMAL, and reducing its own level by and through night.

Falling PER protein levels at night causes our biological systems to slow: our blood pressure drops, our heart rate slows and our mental processes wind down. But, until now, the precise nature of the nighttime brake and what let CLOCK and BMAL proteins overcome this brake to raise PER protein levels again each morning was a mystery.

In their research, which was primarily funded by Salk's Innovation Fund, Panda and his colleagues identified JARID1a, a type of enzyme, as the molecular bugle call for cells and organs to get back to work each morning.

By studying the genetic mechanisms underlying circadian rhythms in human and mouse cells and in fruit flies, the researchers discovered that JARID1a was required for normal cycling, both at the cellular level and in terms of an organisms' daily behavior.

In human and mouse cells that were genetically modified to under-produce JARID1a, the PER protein did not rise to its normal peak each day. Fruit flies that were similarly genetically altered also had low levels of PER protein. The flies lost track of time: they did not know when to sleep or wake up and took frequent naps throughout the day and night.

Digging deeper into the molecular workings of the clock, Panda and his colleagues found that each morning, JARID1a reactivates CLOCK and BMAL1 by countering the action of a brake protein HDAC1. They suspect PER protein tells HDAC1 to put a brake on its own production at night.

"JARID1a tells that break to ease off, which causes CLOCK and BMAL1 drivers to rev back up every morning," Panda says.

To support their findings about the clock's workings, the researchers studied genetically altered mice cells and fruit flies that lacked the JARID1a gene.

They inserted JARID1a into the flies' DNA, which released the HDAC brake so the flies returned to a normal cycle. They then treated mouse cells with a drug that mimics JARID1a, which allowed their biological clocks to operate normally as well.

Now that scientists understand why we wake each day, they can explore the role of JARID1a in sleep disorders and chronic diseases, possibly using it as a target for new drugs.

With age, for instance, the biological clock seems to decline, often causing older people to suffer from difficulty sleeping. There is also strong evidence that shift workers, such as nurses and emergency personnel, who work long shifts that break them out of the normal 24-hour cycle of waking and sleeping, are at much higher risk for certain diseases.

The biological clock also appears important to the development of disease, most likely due to its daily influence over metabolic cycles. Daily cell cycles are fundamental to normal operation of genetic mechanisms that control how cells grow and divide, both in normal development and in cancer.

The cellular mechanisms of diabetes, another chronic disease, are also tied to metabolic cycles controlled by the biological clock. For instance, the conversion of sugars into fat, which normally occurs only at certain times of day, often seems to take place all day long in diabetics' bodies, suggesting the clock has lost control.

"So much of what it means to be healthy and youthful comes down to a good night's sleep," Panda says.

"Now that we have identified JARID1a in activating our daytime cycle, we have a whole new avenue to explore why some people's circadian rhythms are off and to perhaps find new ways to help them."

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is one of the world's preeminent basic research institutions, where internationally renowned faculty probe fundamental life science questions in a unique, collaborative, and creative environment. Focused both on discovery and on mentoring future generations of researchers, Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging, Alzheimer's, diabetes and infectious diseases by studying neuroscience, genetics, cell and plant biology, and related disciplines.

Faculty achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including Nobel Prizes and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences. Founded in 1960 by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, M.D., the Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark.

Original article:http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-09/si-cg092911.php