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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

Surface cells in a mouse uterus with Msx show a more relaxed structure receptive to successful implantation. The arrow denotes the location of successful trophectoderm penetration.

Confocal microscope image illustrate how lack of Msx gene being expressed, negatively impacts surface cells in the mouse uterus, making it unreceptive to embryo implantation.

On day six of pregancy, the loss of Msx results in polarized, tightly formed columnar cells which are unreceptive to implantation.

As result there is no sign of penetration by the embryonic trophectoderm cells, which normally go on to form the embryo and later fetus.

New research in Developmental Cell suggests that increasing expression of certain developmental genes at precise times in the uterus might improve pregnancy rates from in vitro fertilization-embryo transfers (IVF-ET), which remain low at around 30 percent.

The research was conducted at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and published online Nov. 17, 2011.

Researchers point to two genes Msx1 and Msx2 – which play integral roles in organ formation during fetal development – as essential to ensuring the uterus is in a receptive phase needed for successful embryo implantation.

Compromised uterine receptivity is a major cause of pregnancy failure in IVF programs, according to Sudhansu K. Dey, PhD, director of the Division of Reproductive Sciences in the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children’s.

Babies successfully conceived through IVF have a higher risk of being born prematurely, which can result in a number of potential short and long term health risks for the child. Identifying essential molecular signaling pathways at critical stages of early pregnancy in IVF patients could lead to new approaches for optimizing pregnancy outcome.

“Our findings raise the possibility that clinicians may be able to develop new strategies to improve implantation rates in IVF programs by temporarily increasing uterine levels of Msx,” says Dey. “This could allow clinicians to potentially extend the window of uterine receptivity and grant transferred embryos more time to implant.”

Through a series of experiments using genetically engineered mice, the researchers determined the loss of Msx genes is associated with detrimental reproductive consequences in a key molecular signaling pathway involving Wnt signaling. The Wnt pathway plays a central role in embryo development. As a result of Msx loss, uterine luminal epithelial cells fail to assume a slit-like architecture that forms a crypt (or nidus - meaning the focal point, or originating position ) necessary for embryo successful implantation.

Msx gene-deleted mice in the study exhibited compromised fertility depending on a single or double deletion of the Msx gene. Mice singly deleted of Msx1 produced either smaller than normal litter sizes or no litters at all, while deletion of both Msx1 and Msx2 genes resulted in complete infertility because embryos failed to implant.

Gene analysis has shown that Msx genes are differentially expressed in the uterus during the menstrual cycle in women. This suggests the possibility that genes identified in the current study may have important roles during all types of human implantation.

The present findings also show that Msx genes convey and maintain uterine receptivity without altering ovarian hormone levels or uterine sensitivity to these hormones.

Dey and his colleagues believe that, in addition to its potential in improving IVF-derived pregnancy outcomes, further uncovering the role of Msx may aid in the development of non-steroidal contraceptives.

Although further investigation is warranted to apply the findings to human fertility, the researchers say they are a step forward in understanding a molecular network that regulates female fertility and is subject to manipulation.

The study’s co-first authors are Takiko Daikoku, PhD, a faculty member in the Division of Reproductive Sciences, and Jeeyeon Cha, an MD/PhD student in Dey’s laboratory.

The research was supported in part by funding from: National Institutes of Health, including a training grant from the National Institutes of Child Health and Development and a pre-doctoral National Research Service Award; the Cincinnati Children’s Perinatal Institute Pilot/Feasibility grant; a Lalor Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship for Research Abroad.

Original article: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/news/release/2011/IVF-pregnancy-success-11-17-2011/