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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 11, 2011--------News Archive

Pre-birth Brain Growth Problems Linked to Autism
A small, preliminary study provides direct evidence for possible prenatal causes of autism.

Poor 1st, 3rd Trimester Sleep Linked to Early Births
Improving mother’s sleep habits through early intervention could reduce risk.

November 10, 2011--------News Archive

Possible New Target for Treating Kids' Liver Disease
An unexpected discovery in an often lethal pediatric liver disease may lead to a new therapy for the hard-to-treat condition.

Diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorders Vary Widely
Study suggests common diagnostic subcategories like asperger syndrome are flawed are of questionable value.

November 9, 2011--------News Archive

Single Protein Causes Varicose Veins
Scientists have developed a model for studying varicose veins. Their hope is that drugs can be developed to decelerate or even prevent new varicose veins.

"Switching On/Off" of Brain Genes Throughout Life
The “switching on” or expression of specific genes in the human makes each human being unique. The On/Off switching of brain cells continues throughout life.

Balancing Male and Female X Genes
Cells use 'mathematics' to equalize the loss of an X chromosome gene in males.

November 8, 2011--------News Archive

MRI Reveals Injuries in Developing Brain
New research supports the potential of high-field MRI for early identification of tiny brain injuries in the preterm infant.

Epigenetic Signatures of Autism
Analysis reveals overlap between genetic and epigenetic risk maps in autism.

November 7, 2011--------News Archive

"Cat Litter" Disease Alters Brain Chemistry
Infection by the brain parasite Toxoplasma gondii, directly affects the production of dopamine in the brain.

Two Molecules That Kill Lymphoma Cells In Mice
Two molecules have been identified that may be more effective as lymphoma cancer killers than anything currently available on the market.

Why Some Children Became Critically Ill in 2009 Flu
The largest study to date finds that kids co-infected with MRSA had an increased death risk of 8-fold. Flu vaccination is strongly urged!

WHO Child Growth Charts


High field MRI at 12 Tesla (12T) is markedly more sensitive to detect early white matter injury than is lower field MRI at 3 Tesla (3T).
At high field, injury to the immature white matter appears as a broad dark black area (arrow) that is not readily appreciated at low field (arrow, 3T). These high field MRI studies were done with a research scanner that cannot currently be used for patients.
Future studies are needed to determine if lower field MRI scanners, that are used for patients, can be adapted to achieve greater sensitivity to detect early injury to the white matter of the premature human infant.
Credit: Oregon Health & Science University



Pediatric neuroscientists at Oregon Health & Science University, Doernbecher Children's Hospital, are the first to use high magnetic field strength Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to reveal tiny white matter injuries in the developing brain previously undetectable with standard MRI.

Early, accurate identification of these lesions in the preterm human infant could prevent delays in therapy and enable physicians to inform families sooner of the potential for complications. The team's findings are published in the Annals of Neurology.

White matter injury is the most common cause of chronic neurologic disability in children with cerebral palsy, explains principal investigator Stephen Back, M.D., Ph.D., but babies with cerebral palsy often have MRIs that miss injury, which creates significant challenges, including delayed treatment intervention and rehabilitation.

"Until now there hasn't been a compelling reason to put preterm babies into a high-field MRI scanner. Our work indicates the magnetic field strength of current clinical MRI may be a limiting factor to detecting some white matter lesions in the preterm infant. Now that we can detect this injury, we also hope our findings may encourage MRI researchers to find more sensitive means to detect this injury with lower field MRIs that are widely available," said Back, an associate professor of pediatrics and neurology in the Papé Family Pediatric Research Institute at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

High-field MRI scanners are still mostly used as a research tool and not widely available outside of specialized MRI research centers like OHSU, Back added.

White matter injury occurs during brain development when nerve fibers are actively being wrapped in myelin, the insulation that allows nerve fibers to rapidly transmit signals in the brain. The cells required to make myelin can be easily destroyed when blood flow to the developing brain falls below normal or when maternal infection occurs during pregnancy. The loss of these cells disrupts brain maturation and results in failure to make the myelin required for normal brain function.

Preterm infants are particularly susceptible to these injuries, which can result in lifelong impairments, including inability to walk as well as intellectual challenges.

In this study, using high-field MRI (12-Tesla), Back and colleagues were able to identify tiny brain lesions in preterm fetal sheep with characteristics previously unseen and unreported using a standard 3-T MRI. Prior to this study, progress to developing treatments for white matter injury in the preterm infant had been hampered by clinicians' inability to see these microscopic injuries, and just one tiny lesion can have a tremendous impact on the patient's ability to walk and learn.

"Our findings support the potential of using high-field MRI for early identification, improved diagnosis and prognosis of white matter injury in the preterm infant, and our large preclinical animal model provides unique experimental access to questions directed at the cause of these lesions, as well as the optimal field strength and modality to resolve evolving lesions using MRI."

Future studies are needed to determine the clinical-translational utility of high-field MRI, Back added.

The study was funded by a Javits Award from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS), a branch of the National Institutes of Health; the American Heart Association; and the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.

OHSU investigators who contributed to this study include: Art Riddle, Ph.D.; Justin Dean, Ph.D.; Joshua Buser; Xi Gong, M.D.; Jennifer Maire; Kevin Chen; Tahir Ahmad; Victor Cai; Thuan Nguyen, Ph.D.; Christopher D. Kroenke, Ph.D.; and A. Roger Hohimer, Ph.D.

Stephen Back is an internationally recognized expert in pediatric neurology whose research looks at the mechanisms responsible for causing white matter brain injury in developing infants. His team developed the first animal model that reproduces the major forms of brain damage that occur in premature infants. This model has substantially altered the way leaders in this field believe damage occurs to the developing white matter of the brain. For more information on his work, visit the Stephen Back Lab (http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/health/services/doernbecher/research-education/research/research-labs/stephen-back-lab.cfm)

(http://www.ohsudoernbecher.com) OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital is ranked among the top 50 children's hospitals in the United States in eight specialties.* Each year OHSU Doernbecher cares for tens of thousands of children from Oregon, southwest Washington and around the nation. Children have access to a full range of pediatric care, resulting in more than 195,000 outpatient visits, discharges, surgeries and pediatric transports annually. Nationally recognized physicians ensure that children receive exceptional care in the most patient- and family-centered environment. Pediatric experts from OHSU Doernbecher also travel throughout Oregon and southwest Washington to provide specialty care to some 3,000 children at more than 154 outreach clinics in 13 locations. OHSU Doernbecher also has a broad telemedicine program, delivering neonatal and pediatric acute care consultation to hospitals across the state. * US News Best Children's Hospitals 2011-12.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-11/ohs-fuo110711.php