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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.

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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 5, 2014


"...we as consumers use hand sanitizers, hand creams, soaps and sunscreens
that drastically increase the absorption of BPA found on these receipts."
Frederick vom Saal PhD, the University of Missouri (MU).

 






 


 

 

Cash register receipts are high in bisphenol A (BPA)

BPA from thermal paper used in cash register receipts accounts for high levels of BPA in humans. And the use of skin care products dramatically increases BPA absorption.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in a variety of consumer products, such as water bottles, dental composites, and lines metal food and beverage containers. It is also in thermal paper used for cash register receipts. Now, research conducted by the University of Missouri provides the first evidence that BPA in cash register receipts accounts for high levels of BPA in humans. People studied showed a rapid increase of BPA in their blood after using a skin care product and then touching a store receipt with BPA.


"BPA first was developed by a biochemist and tested as an artificial estrogen supplement. It is an endocrine disrupting chemical, and has been demonstrated to alter signaling mechanisms involving estrogen and other hormones.

"Store and fast food receipts, airline tickets, ATM receipts and other thermal papers all use massive amounts of BPA on the surface of the paper as a print developer.

"The problem, we as consumers use hand sanitizers, hand creams, soaps and sunscreens that drastically increase the absorption of BPA found on these receipts."

Frederick vom Saal PhD, Curators Professor, Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Science, the University of Missouri (MU).


In the study, researchers tested human subjects who cleaned their hands with hand sanitizer and then held thermal paper receipts. As an added step, subjects who had handled the thermal paper then ate French fries with their hands. The result was that BPA was absorbed very rapidly.


"Our research found that large amounts of BPA can be transferred to your hands and then to the food you hold and eat as well as be absorbed through your skin.

"BPA exhibits hormone-like properties and has been proven to cause reproductive defects in fetuses, infants, children and adults as well as cancer, metabolic and immune problems in rodents.

"BPA from thermal papers will be absorbed into your blood rapidly; at those levels, many diseases such as diabetes and disorders such as obesity increase as well.

"Use of BPA or other similar chemicals that are being used to replace BPA in thermal paper pose a threat to human health."


Frederick vom Saal PhD


The study, "Holding thermal receipt paper and eating food after using hand sanitizer results in high blood bioactive and urine total levels of bisphenol A (BPA)" was published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE on October 22 , 2014.

Abstract
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disrupting environmental contaminant used in a wide variety of products, and BPA metabolites are found in almost everyone’s urine, suggesting widespread exposure from multiple sources. Regulatory agencies estimate that virtually all BPA exposure is from food and beverage packaging. However, free BPA is applied to the outer layer of thermal receipt paper present in very high (~20 mg BPA/g paper) quantities as a print developer. Not taken into account when considering thermal paper as a source of BPA exposure is that some commonly used hand sanitizers, as well as other skin care products, contain mixtures of dermal penetration enhancing chemicals that can increase by up to 100 fold the dermal absorption of lipophilic compounds such as BPA. We found that when men and women held thermal receipt paper immediately after using a hand sanitizer with penetration enhancing chemicals, significant free BPA was transferred to their hands and then to French fries that were eaten, and the combination of dermal and oral BPA absorption led to a rapid and dramatic average maximum increase (Cmax) in unconjugated (bioactive) BPA of ~7 ng/mL in serum and ~20 µg total BPA/g creatinine in urine within 90 min. The default method used by regulatory agencies to test for hazards posed by chemicals is intra-gastric gavage. For BPA this approach results in less than 1% of the administered dose being bioavailable in blood. It also ignores dermal absorption as well as sublingual absorption in the mouth that both bypass first-pass liver metabolism. The elevated levels of BPA that we observed due to holding thermal paper after using a product containing dermal penetration enhancing chemicals have been related to an increased risk for a wide range of developmental abnormalities as well as diseases in adults.


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