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

Women at Low Risk Can Safely Choose Birth Style
Women with low risk pregnancies should be able to choose where they give birth, concludes The Birthplace in England national prospective cohort study.

Finger (Mal)formation Function of Desert DNA
Explaining the diversity of leg shapes in the animal kingdom and hereditary defects in finger formation.

Key Molecular Switch for Telomere Extension Found
For the first time, a key target for DNA damage is found that must be chemically modified to enable an enzyme thought to play a key role in cancer and aging.

New Role for Gene in Maintaining Steady Weight
Findings may help combat obesity and diabetes.

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.

Preventing Preemie Brain Injury
New advances could eventually help reduce the number of premature babies who develop cerebral palsy, epilepsy or behavioral disorders such as ADHD.

Short Stature May Be Due To a 'Shortage' of Genes
Research suggests that uncommon genetic deletions are associated with short stature.

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
Gene-therapy trial will attempt to restore hearing in deaf mice.

Tweaking One Gene Makes Muscles Twice As Strong
Salk scientists and their collaborators find new avenue for treating muscle degeneration in people who can't exercise.

Fruit Fly Intestine Holds Secret to Fountain of Youth
Long-lived fruit flies offer Salk scientists clues to slowing human aging and fighting disease.

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
Controlling a stem cell transplant recipient’s immune response may be major key to successful bone regeneration.

WHO Child Growth Charts


The most common cause of brain injury in premature infants is a lack of oxygen in the days and weeks after birth, researchers say.

Scientists say they are beginning to understand why brain injuries are so common in very premature infants — and they are coming up with strategies to prevent or repair these injuries.

The advances could eventually help reduce the number of premature babies who develop cerebral palsy, epilepsy or behavioral disorders such as ADHD, researchers told the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, D.C., this week.

Each year more than 60,000 babies are born weighing less than 3.3 pounds. And because of advances in neonatal medicine over the past several decades, most of those babies will survive. But researchers have had less success finding ways to prevent brain damage in these infants.

"That means that overall rates of cerebral palsy and other neurodevelopmental disabilities are on the rise," says David Rowitch, chief of neonatology at the University of California, San Francisco.

The most common cause of brain injury in premature infants is a lack of oxygen in the days and weeks after birth, Rowitch says. The lack of oxygen damages white matter, which provides the "communication highways" that carry messages around the brain and to distant parts of the body, he says.

And the babies at greatest risk of this sort of brain damage are those born after as little as six months of gestation, Rowitch says.

"Such a baby would weigh about a pound and would fit into the palm of your hand," he says. "As you can imagine, they're very fragile and vulnerable to stresses."

Those stresses often include periods when an infant's immature lungs are not delivering enough oxygen to the brain, even with help from a mechanical breathing device.

This lack of oxygen appears to damage the most common type of white matter, myelin, which acts like an insulator around the nerve fibers that carry messages in the brain and nervous system. Without enough myelin, short circuits can prevent these messages from getting through, Rowitch says.

He initially found evidence of white matter damage by studying brains from premature infants who died. But since then, he's been able to assess premature infants using a special incubator designed to fit in an MRI scanner.

"We've been able to now take over 250 babies who are very preterm to the MRI scanner safely to show that this is a feasible way to detect white matter injury early on," he says.

Now the question is how to prevent or repair that sort of injury.

Some studies show that it's important to act right away, says Vittorio Gallo from Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

"There is a very critical developmental time window right after birth," Gallo says. "If development is disturbed during this critical time window then the brain doesn't catch up."

Gallo is part of a team of scientists who have shown that it is possible to intervene — at least in mice. One approach involves giving the mice a drug that speeds up production of myelin, he says.

"We do this intervention right after the injury," he says. "And we found that by targeting specific targets we can recover and regenerate at least part of these cells right after the injury, during that critical developmental time window."

Any drug for people is still years off, Gallo says

But other scientists at the meeting say there are promising treatments available now. These include everything from the magnetic stimulation of certain areas of the brain to temporarily lowering the body temperature of premature infants to protect brain tissue.

And if any of the approaches work, the benefits are likely to extend far beyond infants, says Mark Goldberg of UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

"This white matter injury happens in perinatal brain injury. It happens in multiple sclerosis. It happens in traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. It happens in stroke," Goldberg says.

"So we hope very much that the kind of therapeutic directions that work in one system can be applied directly to another system, another disease."

Original article: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/11/17/142421335/why-brain-injuries-are-more-common-in-preemies