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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



Scientists from the EPFL and the University of Geneva have discovered a genetic mechanism that defines the shape of our fingers in which, surprisingly, genes play only a secondary role.

The research published in Cell, online the 23rd of November, shows the mechanism is found in a DNA sequence that was thought, incorrectly, to play no role. This long string has seven enhancers which, when combined, modify the activity of the genes responsible for the formation of the fingers – an important fundamental discovery for the field of genetics.

The discovery could help us understand anomalies that are transmitted from generation to generation such as welded fingers, or extra and/or abnormally short fingers (Kantaputra syndrome) even if the genes appear perfectly normal.

Turbos on the genome
DNA is composed of only about 2% genes. But other parts of the DNA sequence, such as enhancers, can increase the activity of genes at key moments.

"The discovery we have made is that the group of genes involved in finger growth is modulated by seven enhancers, not just one, and they combine through contact," says Thomas Montavon, lead author of the article and researcher at the EPFL.

When the fingers in the embryo begin to take shape, a string of DNA folds and enhancers located on different parts of that string come into contact. This contact stimulates various proteins to activate specific genes, and fingers start to grow.

If one of the seven enhancers is missing, the fingers will be shorter, or abnormally shaped. When two enhancers are missing, the defects are even more pronounced. Without enhancers, the genes work slowly, and generate only the beginnings of fingers.

How the DNA folds in exactly the right way so that the enhancers will work correctly remains largely unknown.

"In other tissues, such as the brain, the string of DNA folds differently," says Denis Duboule, director of the study and researcher at both the EPFL and the University of Geneva. "To our knowledge, it is only in the fingers that it adopts this shape."

An explanation for evolutionary diversity
Statistically, the seven enhancers involved in finger growth create seven opportunities for a mutation to occur. The flexibility of the finger plate folding mechanism causes not only hereditary malformations, but also the many variations in hands, legs and various other appendages seen in nature.

"Just think of some ungulates, which walk on a single finger, or the ostrich, which has only two, and the human hand, of course" explains Denis Duboule.

Other genetic processes may also function on the basis of a similar principle. This could explain the diversity of the products of evolution, in areas other than the fingers, according to Denis Duboule.

"When a mutation occurs on a gene, for instance in cystic fibrosis, it is often binary. This amounts to an 'all or nothing' situation. With the mechanism we have discovered, it is a 'more or less' situation. If it is combined, it is modulated."

This research is carried out within the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Frontiers in Genetics. The NCCRs are an initiative of the Swiss government to stimulate research and education in key areas. http://www.frontiers-in-genetics.org

Vidéo (interview with Denis Duboule) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrFG34HPqN8

Original article:http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-11/epfd-fr112311.php