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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
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November 4, 2011--------News Archive

Identifying Brain Cells That Keep Us Awake
Researchers at UCLA have identified the group of neurons that mediates whether light arouses us — or not.

TBL1X Gene Involved In Autism Spectrum Disorder
An X-chromosome-wide association study in autism families identifies TBL1X as a novel autism spectrum disorder candidate gene in males.

“Love Hormone” Helps Direct Development of Brain
Hormones released from nerves regulate a series of vital body processes, including the balance of fluids and uterine contractions in childbirth.

November 3, 2011--------News Archive

Steroids in Preemies Impair Brain Growth
Premature infants given drugs to support lung maturation and normalize blood pressure, are at increased risk for having impaired growth of the cerebellum.

Potential Treatment for Sickle Cell Disease
Increasing the expression of proteins TR2/TR4 can lead to higher fetal hemoglobin levels in sickle cell patients.

New Drug Shows Promise Against Multiple Sclerosis
A new drug targets a molecule - CD20 found on the surface of B cells and B cells seem to induce the immune system T cells to attack.

November 2, 2011--------News Archive

Babies Understand Each Other at Ten Months Old
At 10 months, babies start to understand another person’s thought process, providing new insights on how communication develops.

Bacteria Swap Genes Between Species Readily
Microbes have developed a quick and effective way to exchange genetic information from animals to humans.

Pinpointing Cause of Unexplained Miscarriage
The same kind of blood-clotting in coronary arteries or blood vessels in the brain which causes heart attacks and strokes also happens in the placenta.

November 1, 2011--------News Archive

Pregnant Mothers At Risk From Air Pollution
A Californian-based study has looked in detail at air quality and the impact of traffic-related air pollution on premature birth.

Linking A Spectrum of Childhood Diseases
An international collaboration of scientists has identified a genetic mutation causing a rare childhood disease characterized by inflammation and fat loss.

Placenta and Uterus Battle Becomes Preeclampsia
A battle brews in the mother’s womb between the father’s biological goal to produce the biggest, healthiest baby possible vs. the mother’s need to live through delivery.

October 31, 2011

Fetal Heart Rate Not a Good Indicator for Health
Maternal-fetal medicine specialists at Intermountain Medical Center seek better 'road map' to improve deliveries, healthier babies.

Swedish Discover Bisphenol-A Affects Newborn Brain
An observed effect induced in neonatal baby mice after exposure to Bisphenol A, persisted into adulthood.

Not Your Mother's Birth Control
Today's hormonal forms of birth control are vastly different from those used by earlier generations of women, both with lower levels of hormones and with different means of delivery (not just a pill), but many of the same problems related to women's pleasure remain.

WHO Child Growth Charts


Invasive trophoblasts (brown colored cells) surrounding and invading maternal artery. (Photo: Harvey Kliman, Yale University)

A battle brews in the mother’s womb between the father’s biological goal to produce the biggest, healthiest baby possible vs. the mother’s need to survive delivery. This battle might help explain preeclampsia, an often deadly disease of pregnancy. The fetus must be big enough to thrive, yet small enough to pass through the birth canal. In a new study, Yale researchers describe the mechanism that keeps these conflicting goals in balance.

The findings are published in the October 11, 2011 online issue of Reproductive Sciences.

The battle is waged between the mother’s uterine cell lining and the baby’s placenta, made up of cells called trophoblasts - controlled by the father. In the study, led by Dr. Harvey J. Kliman, research scientist in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine, researchers observed how the placenta tricks the mother so she doesn’t attack the trophoblasts that are trying to increase the flow of her blood into the placenta. If this deception doesn’t work, the mother may develop preeclampsia, a condition that results in high blood pressure and protein in the mother’s urine. The only known cure for preeclampsia is delivery of the baby.

The placenta’s job is to get nutrients from the mother during pregnancy. Kliman explained that in a normal pregnancy, specialized invasive trophoblasts leave the placenta and invade the mother’s tissues to attack and destroy the walls of her blood vessels. This allows the most blood possible to enter the placenta, resulting in a big baby.

But the mother’s own “soldiers,” called lymphocytes, are constantly looking to destroy the invasive trophoblast cells. The placenta in turn appears to trick the mother by creating a diversion to occupy her lymphocytes.

The placenta creates this diversion by secreting a protein called placental protein 13 (PP13), also known as galectin 13, into the mother’s blood where it travels through her veins into the uterus below the placenta. There the PP13 leaves the veins where it triggers the mother’s immune system to react and attack. The entire area around these veins becomes a mass of inflammation and dead cells, called necrosis.

“We realized that these zones of necrosis are likely occupying the mother’s soldiers while the invasive trophoblasts sneak into her arteries, leading to more blood flow to the placenta and a bigger baby,” said Kliman. “We believe that maintaining this balance could be the key to a healthy pregnancy free from preeclampsia.”

Other authors on the study include Marei Sammar, Yael Grimpel, Stephanie Lynch, Kristin Milano, Elah Pick, Jacob Bejar, Ayala Arad, James Lee, Hamutal Meiri and Ron Gonen.

The study was funded by a research grant from the European Union (FP6-grant # 037244, project title Pregenesys), the Finland Israel R&D Fund grant #41256 (Eureka – 3808 RPT), and the Yale University Reproductive and Placental Research Unit.

Citation: Reproductive Sciences doi: 10.1177/1933719111424445 (October 2011)

Original article: http://www.uu.se/en/news/news-document/?id=1515&area=2,3,10,16&typ=pm&na=&lang=en&fromSiteNodeId=39806