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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 one million visitors each month.

Today, The Visible Embryo is linked to over 600 educational institutions and is viewed by more than 1 million visitors each month. The field of early embryology has grown to include the identification of the stem cell as not only critical to organogenesis in the embryo, but equally critical to organ function and repair in the adult human. The identification and understanding of genetic malfunction, inflammatory responses, and the progression in chronic disease, begins with a grounding in primary cellular and systemic functions manifested in the study of the early embryo.

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 SemestersFetal 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 HemispheresFemale Reproductive SystemEnd of Embryonic PeriodEnd of Embryonic PeriodFirst Thin Layer of Skin AppearsThird TrimesterSecond TrimesterFirst TrimesterFertilizationDevelopmental Timeline
CLICK ON weeks 0 - 40 and follow along every 2 weeks of fetal development
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Home | Pregnancy Timeline | News Alerts |News Archive Nov 4, 2014

According to the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics used in some food and drink packaging, impact-resistant safety
equipment, and medical devices.




Fetal BPA exposure increases adult food allergies

New research suggests exposure to Bisphenol A — at a dose significantly below the FDA Tolerable Daily Intake — predisposes children to food intollerance and food allergies as adults.

It seems like more people are allergic or just intolerant of more foods than ever before. Now the reason why may come from new research. For the first time a link has been shown to exist between low dose exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) during and immediately after pregnancy (perinatal) and increases in the risk of food intolerance and allergy.

The research was conducted using rats and suggests that early life exposure at a BPA dose significantly below current safety limits (set by the FDA) affects the developing prenatal immune system. The work is published in the November 2014 issue of FASEB.

"On the basis of increased susceptibility to food intolerance after perinatal exposure to BPA, this new data may help public health authorities make decisions to significantly reduce the level of exposure to BPA in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Thus limiting the risk in children for adverse food reactions later in life."

Sandrine Menard PhD, scientist, Department of Neuro-Gastroenterology and Nutrition, INRA, Toulouse, France.

Experiments were conducted on pregnant rats. One group received BPA orally every day at a dose of 5 µg/kg of body weight, beginning gestational day 15 to day 21 after birth, when pups were weaned. The second group — or control — was not treated with BPA throughout the same period. After weaning, offspring were kept untouched until adulthood at day 45.

In animals perinatally exposed to BPA, feeding with protein from egg whites (ovalbumin: the main protein found in egg white, making up 60-65% of its' total protein) induced an extreme immune response, not observed in control rats. Furthermore, a repeated oral administration of ovalbumin in the BPA-exposed rats induced colon inflammation, suggestive of food intolerance, also not observed in control animals.

This study provides strong rationale for preventive management of immune disorders, such as food intolerance, rather than therapeutic issues. This research may also help public health authorities identify the variety of effects of BPA on the immune system, at low levels of exposure, during sensitive phases of an individual's development, especially during fetal life, and for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

"We may look back one day and see BPA exposure as one of the more important public health problems of our time. We know that too much exposure is bad, but exactly how much exposure is too much is still in debate."

Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal.

According to the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH, BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics used in some food and drink packaging, impact-resistant safety equipment, and medical devices.

Epoxy resins containing BPA are also used as lacquers to coat metal in items, such as food cans, bottle tops, and water supply pipes. Some dental sealants and composites may also contribute to BPA exposure.

Most exposure occurs when BPA leaches into food from the internal epoxy resin coatings of canned foods and from consumer products such as polycarbonate dinnerware, food storage containers, water bottles, and baby bottles.

The degree to which BPA leaches from polycarbonate bottles into liquid may depend more on the temperature of the liquid or bottle, than the age of the container.

BPA has also been found in breast milk.

The food contaminant bisphenol A (BPA) is pointed out as a risk factor in development of food allergy and food intolerance, two adverse food reactions increasing worldwide. We evaluated the consequences of perinatal exposure to low doses of BPA on immune-specific response to the food antigen ovalbumin (OVA) at adulthood. Perinatal exposure to BPA (0.5, 5, or 50 μg/kg/d) from 15th day of gravidity to pups weaning resulted in an increase of anti-OVA IgG titers at all BPA dosages in OVA-tolerized rats, and at 5 μg/kg/d in OVA-immunized rats compared to control rats treated with vehicle. In BPA-treated and OVA-tolerized rats, increased anti-OVA IgG titers were associated with higher IFNγ secretion by the spleen. This result is in accordance with the increase of activated CD4+CD44highCD62Llow T lymphocytes observed in spleen of BPA-exposed rats compared to controls. Finally, when BPA-treated OVA-tolerized rats were orally challenged with OVA, colonic inflammation occurred, with neutrophil infiltration, increased IFNγ, and decreased TGFβ. We show that perinatal exposure to BPA altered oral tolerance and immunization to dietary antigens (OVA). In summary, the naive immune system of neonate is vulnerable to low doses of BPA that trigger food intolerance later in life.—Menard, S., Guzylack-Piriou, L., Leveque, M., Braniste, V., Lencina, C., Naturel, M., Moussa, L., Sekkal, S., Harkat, C., Gaultier, E., Theodorou, V., Houdeau, E. Food intolerance at adulthood after perinatal exposure to the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A.

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