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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.


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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 25, 2011--------News Archive

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November 24, 2011--------News Archive

New Facts About Stuttering
Some forms of persistent stuttering are caused by mutations in a gene governing the recycling of old cell parts - not speech.

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Short Stature May Be Due To a 'Shortage' of Genes
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November 23, 2011--------News Archive

Intestinal Disorder, Preemies and AB Blood Type
Preemies with the AB blood type who develop NEC are nearly three times as likely to die from it as preemies with other blood types.

Babies Fed Fish Before 9 Months Wheeze Less
But pre-natal pain and fever antibiotics taken by mom in pregnancy, or by the baby in the first-week of life, increase risk of "pre-school wheeze."

Physical Activity Improves Quality Of Sleep
People sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, a new study concludes.

November 22, 2011--------News Archive

Critical Molecules For Hearing/Balance Discovered
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Tweaking One Gene Makes Muscles Twice As Strong
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November 21, 2011--------News Archive

Nerve Cells Key to making Sense of All of Our Senses
Scientists have unraveled how the brain manages to process complex, rapidly changing, and often conflicting sensory signals and make sense of our world.

Discovery of A New Muscle Repair Gene
Thanks to next-generation DNA sequencing, an international team of scientists have discovered more about the function of muscle stem cells.

Immune System Governs Stem Cell Regeneration
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WHO Child Growth Charts

Children who started eating fish before nine months of age are less likely to suffer from pre-school wheeze, but face a higher risk if they were treated with broad spectrum antibiotics in the first week of life or their mother took paracetamol (an over the counter pain and fever reducer) during pregnancy.

These are the key findings from a large-scale Swedish study published in the December issue of Acta Paediatrica.

Researchers analysed responses from 4,171 randomly selected families, who answered questions when their child was six months, 12 months and four-and-a-half years of age.

"Recurrent wheeze is a very common clinical problem in preschool children and there is a need for better medical treatment and improved understanding of the underlying mechanisms" says lead author Dr Emma Goksor from the Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. "The aim of our study was to identify both important risk factors and protective factors for the disease.

"Our demographic analysis suggests that the responses we received were largely representative of the population as a whole and we believe our findings provide useful information on three important factors involved in pre-school wheeze."

The study examined children who had had three or more episodes of wheezing in the last year, including those who did and did not use asthma medication (inhaled corticosteroid), comparing them with children who did not wheeze. The wheezy sample was further broken down into children who only developed episodic viral wheeze when they had colds and multiple trigger wheeze, where children also wheezed when they didn't have a cold, reacting to factors such as allergens, tobacco smoke or exercise.

Key findings of the study include:

Overall Prevalence
One in five of the children had at least one episode of wheezing and one in 20 had recurrent wheeze (three or more episodes) over the last year. Of these, three-quarters had used asthma medication and just over half reported doctor-diagnosed asthma.

More than half of the children with recurrent wheeze had episodic viral wheeze (57%) and 43% had multiple-trigger wheeze.

Fish consumption before nine months of age
Eating fish before the age of nine months almost halved the likelihood of suffering recurrent wheeze at 4.5 years. The fish most commonly eaten was white fish, followed by salmon and flat fish.

The authors have previously reported that fish, which is thought to contain properties that reduce allergy risks, is beneficial in both eczema in infancy and allergic rhinitis at pre-school age. Other research has suggested a protective effect on the development of asthma.

Antibiotic treatment in the first week of life
Being treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics in the first week was associated with double the risk of recurrent wheeze at 4.5 years. Just 3.6% of the children in the no wheeze group had received antibiotics, compared with 10.7% of those who had experienced three or more episodes.

When this was broken down into subgroups, the risk was even higher in children with multiple-trigger wheeze, while the risk of episodic viral wheeze was not statistically increased.

Use of paracetamol during pregnancy
Less than a third of the mothers (28.4%) had taken some medication during pregnancy, with 7.7% of the total taking paracetamol and 5.3% only taking paracetamol.

The prevalence of prenatal paracetamol exposure in the wheeze group using asthma medication was 12.4% and taking paracetamol during pregnancy increased the risk by 60%.

The effect was particularly noticeable in the multiple-trigger wheeze group, where it more than doubled the risk.

"The aim of this study was to determine the risk factors for pre-school wheeze, with particular reference to prenatal paracetamol use, early exposure to antibiotics and fish consumption. A secondary aim was to analyse possible differences between multiple-trigger wheeze and episodic viral wheeze.

Our findings clearly show that while fish has a protective effect against developing pre-school wheeze, children who had antibiotics in the first week of life and whose mothers took paracetamol during pregnancy faced an increased risk, particularly of multiple-trigger wheeze."

Additional articles online:
Preschool wheeze – impact of early fish introduction and neonatal antibiotics. Goksör et al. Acta Paediatrica. 100, pp1561-1566. (December 2011) DOI: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02411.x

Prenatal paracetamol exposure and risk of wheeze at preschool age. Goksör et al. Acta Paediatrica. 100, pp 1567-1571. (December 2011) DOI: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02403.x

Acta Paediatrica is a peer-reviewed monthly journal at the forefront of international paediatric research. It covers both clinical and experimental research in all areas of paediatrics including: neonatal medicine, developmental medicine, adolescent medicine, child health and environment, psychosomatic paediatrics and child health in developing countries. http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/APA

Wiley-Blackwell is the international scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, with strengths in every major academic and professional field and partnerships with many of the world's leading societies.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-11/luhs-lci112111.php