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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 18, 2011--------News Archive

Increasing Uterine Development Genes Improve IVF
Increasing certain developmental genes at precise times in the uterus might improve pregnancy rates from in vitro fertilization-embryo transfers (IVF-ET).

“Silent” Strokes in Children with Sickle Cell Anemia
Silent strokes are the most common form of neurological injury found in SCA, with more than 25 percent of children with the disorder suffering a SCI by age six and nearly 40 percent by age 14.

Mystery Atom In Enzyme Critical for Life
All life requires the element nitrogen from the atmosphere to form amino acids and build proteins. But how to single out the atom in the middle of the process?

November 17, 2011--------News Archive

Breast-Milk Stem Cells!
Embryonic-like stem cells have been isolated from breast milk in large numbers.

All Mammals Share Common Brain Organization
Animal studies show that the outer layer of the brain – the cortex – is organized by genes which exhibit highly similar regional patterns between species.

3 p.m. Slump? A Sugar Rush Is NOT The Answer
Protein, not sugar, stimulates cells to keep us thin and awake, new study suggests

November 16, 2011--------News Archive

Delayed Cord Clamping Protects Babe from Iron Loss
Waiting for at least three minutes before clamping the umbilical cord in healthy newborns improves their iron levels at four months.

Mom's Brain More Damaged by Alcohol than Dad's
After only four years of problem drinking, a significant decrease in the function of the serotonin system in women's brains can be seen.

Regenerative Medicine
Engineered, Blood Vessels Reverse Anemia in Mice
System combining gene therapy with tissue engineering could avoid the need for frequent injections of recombinant drugs.

November 15, 2011--------News Archive

Parkinson's Greater if Exposed to Trichloroethylene
Symptoms of disease may appear 10 to 40 years following exposure.

Fetal Placental Stem Cells May Help Maternal Heart
Researchers have discovered the therapeutic benefit of fetal stem cells in helping

Pituitary-Like Tissue Grown From Mouse Stem Cells
Creating functional, three-dimensional tissue and organs from pluripotent embryonic stem cells (EScs) is one of the grand challenges of stem cell research.

November 14, 2011--------News Archive

Dyslexia Not Tied To Low IQ
Research on brain activity fails to support widely believed expectation that dyslexic students may have lower reading ability.

Intestinal E. coli Can Convert Sugar to Biodiesel Fuel
Biodiesel can be generated using E. coli as a catalyst, which will produce high volumes of the fuel with just a little tweaking of the bacteria's cell controls.

Cooked Food May Account For Human Big Brains
Harvard study finds an increase in energy from meat, suggesting cooking food was key to human evolution.

WHO Child Growth Charts


Color-coded representations of human and mouse brains show similarities in cortical functional organization, with some variance according to species-specific needs. F/M indicates the frontal/motor cortex; S1, primary somatosensory cortex; A1, auditory cortex and V1, visual cortex. Image: UC San Diego School Medicine

A new study using magnetic resonance imaging data of 406 adult human twins confirms the long-standing idea that the genetic basis of the human cortical regions – the organization of the outer brain into specific areas – is consistent with patterns found in other mammals, indicating a common mechanism in evolution conserving patterns of use in development.

The findings are published in the November 17 issue of the journal Neuron.

Past animal studies, primarily in rodents, have shown that development of distinct areas of the outer layer of the brain – the cortex – is influenced by genes exhibiting highly similar regional patterns.

The new study is among the first to confirm these findings using data from human subjects. As in other mammals, the researchers found that that genetic influences in human brain development progress along a graduating scale front-to-back (anterior-to-posterior) in a bilateral, symmetric pattern.

There were, of course, differences based upon the particular needs and functions of each species.

"For example, humans have very high-level thinking abilities. Mice don't engage in abstract thinking, but they do make extensive use of their whiskers to negotiate the sensory environment," said William S. Kremen, PhD, professor of clinical psychology and corresponding author of the study.

"Consistent with these species-specific features, we found that genetic influences resulted in greatly expanded frontal regions in humans – the area of the brain responsible for higher level functions – but much-expanded somatosensory regions in the mouse brain."

The scientists conducted their study by mapping genetic correlations in area growth between targeted brain regions and other cortical locations. By studying twins, they were able to expand the scope of the inquiry.

"In non-twin studies," Kremen said, "researchers have been able to examine the effects of a small number of individual genes. By comparing identical and fraternal twins, we can account for the total of all genetic influences on the patterns of expansion and contraction of different brain regions."

The researchers selected targets called "seed points" in the brain to look for patterns to how each point was related to all other points. They double-checked the validity of these seed points by also examining "marching seeds" – lines of seed points from one brain region to another. "If the results are meaningful, the patterns should remain similar within a region and then change when the seed point enters a new region," said Kremen.

They also used a hypothesis-free approach, a statistical method that doesn't involve any seed points and so eliminates the possibility of biased assumptions about particular seed points.

Anders M. Dale, PhD, professor of radiology and neurosciences at UC San Diego and a co-author of the study, said the study's findings have both basic and clinical implications.

"We know that genetics are important in determining brain structure," said Dale. "Increasing our understanding of genetics is a key step toward understanding normal brain development, but it is also crucial for understanding the development of brain abnormalities. Eventually, it may provide clues to the treatment of developmental brain anomalies that occur early or late in life. Also, because the study identified regions of the brain based on their genetic similarity, it may well improve the ability of researchers to find the specific individual genes that control the size of those regions."

Co-authors of the study are first author Chi-Hua Chen, Matthew S. Panizzon, Wes Thompson, Carol E. Franz and Samar Hamza, UCSD Department of Psychiatry; Lisa T. Eyler and Amy J. Jak, UCSD Department of Psychiatry and VA San Diego Healthcare System; Terry L. Jernigan, UCSD departments of Psychiatry and Cognitive Science; Christine Fennema-Notestine, UCSD departments of Psychiatry and Radiology; Michael C. Neale, Departments of Psychiatry and Human and Molecular Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University; Michael J. Lyons and Michael D. Grant, Department of Psychology, Boston University; Bruce Fischl, Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital; Larry J. Seidman, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Ming T. Tsuang, UCSD Department of Psychiatry, Center for Behavioral Genomics and VA San Diego Healthcare System.

Funding for the research came, in part, from the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Center for Research Resources, the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, the National Center for Alternative Medicine, the Ellison Medical Foundation and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-11/uoc--oma111511.php