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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
Google Search artcles published since 2007
 
December 2, 2011--------News Archive

Working Moms Multitask More Than Dads
Not only are working mothers multitasking more frequently than working fathers, but their multitasking experience is more negative as well.

Unlocking the Genetic Mystery of Sarcomas
Study uncovers potential targets for treating a disease affecting children and adults.

When Babies Wake, Cortisol Rises to Mom's Level
The hormone cortisol in adults rises and lowers according to stress. But in babies cortisol remains level following waking - and tunes in with mom's level.

December 1, 2011--------News Archive

Home Births – Then and Now
A comparison of home-birth trends of the 1970s finds many similarities – and some differences – related to trends in home births today.

Risk of Suicide In Pregnant Women, New Mothers
An analysis of new data highlights risk factors that could be targeted by interventions.

Addiction Damages PreFrontal Cortex
Brain structure-function impairment may be related to an inability to assess rewards and consequences, behavior associated with addiction.

November 30, 2011--------News Archive

Gene Puts Brakes On Breast Cancer Progression
Newly published research explores the role of gene in tumour suppression

‘Perfect Parent’ Not A Good Idea
Seeking perfection as a parent works better for dads than for moms.

Kindergarten Friendships Matter, Especially for Boys
High-quality friendships in kindergarten may mean that boys will have fewer behavior problems and better social skills in first and third grades.

November 29, 2011--------News Archive

Cleft Lip Corrected Genetically in Mouse Model
Scientists have successfully genetically repaired cleft lips in mice embryos specially engineered for the study of cleft lip and cleft palate.

Common Herbicide Creates Reproductive Problems
International researchers link exposure to atrazine – an herbicide widely used in the U.S. and more than 60 other nations – to reproductive problems in animals.

Environment and Diet Leave Imprints On the Heart
DNA methylation in the human heart has revealed the 'missing link' between lifestyle and health, and may indicate methylation creates the equivalent of 5, 6, 7 and 8 bases by modifying Cytosines across our entire genome.

November 28, 2011--------News Archive

Role of Nuclear Membrane Protein in Organ Growth
Scientists had thought B-type lamin proteins were vital to embryonic stem cells; but they are more critical to organ formation.

Hormone Hepcidin May Control Atherosclerosis
Hepcidin is a hormone produced by the liver and regulates iron transport. Blocking its production encourages macrophages to counter atherosclerosis.

Two Enzymes Stamp DNA with "Turn Off" Signal
Inside the cell nucleus, DNA is wound around spool-like proteins called histones. Two modifications in this attachment tell a portion of the DNA to be on or off.

WHO Child Growth Charts


by Philip Williams

Cortisol may be the Swiss Army knife of hormones in the human body-just when scientists think they understand what it does, another function pops up.

While many of these functions are understood for adults, much less is known about how cortisol operates in babies and toddlers, especially when it comes to an important phenomenon called the cortisol awakening response, or CAR.

For the first time, psychology researchers from the University of Georgia Franklin College of Arts and Sciences have shown that this response for infants is opposite of what it is for adults.

The new information could have implications for how infants handle stress and why proper care from their mothers could affect how growing children react to cortisol in later life.

"Surprisingly, the CAR hasn't been widely studied in infants or young children," said psychology doctoral student Melissa Bright, who led the study. "There is consensus that the adult pattern of cortisol response isn't present at birth, but much less is known about when in the first year of life it is established."

Other authors of the research, just published online in the journal Developmental Psychobiology, are Janet Frick, a faculty member in UGA's department of psychology and director of the UGA Infant Research Lab, and Douglas Granger of Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.

Cortisol is produced in the adrenal gland and has dozens of jobs in the body. It is released in response to stress and can increase blood sugar, suppress the immune system and aid in metabolism. And yet it works in vastly more arenas than those. One such area is the CAR, and when adults awake, an organ "team" called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis works together to release cortisol-somewhat as a sentinel-alerting the body to stress or threats.

The new study discovered that in infants, cortisol levels actually didn't increase but stayed stable from the time they awoke in the morning and for half an hour afterward. Cortisol levels didn't change following naps, either. Interestingly, the research team also found a mother-infant cortisol association called "psychological attunement," confirming recent research that cortisol levels between mothers and infants are correlated.

"Taken together, these findings raise an interesting possibility," said Frick. "In infancy, cortisol responses may be less dependent on hard-wired biological rhythms and more influenced by the HPA axis activity of the baby's immediate caregivers."

The team conducted the research using 32 baby-mother pairs. Nineteen of the babies were female and 13 were males, and they ranged in age from 7.8 to 17.4 months. After agreeing to participate, mothers were instructed to collect saliva samples using cotton swabs from inside the mouths of their infants and then themselves four times on a single day: when the infants awoke in the morning, 30-45 minutes after the baby awoke, when the baby awoke from its first nap of the day and 30-45 minutes after that. Other requirements applied, but they weren't difficult for the mothers to follow, said Bright.

No one knows at precisely what age the CAR begins in humans, though it had previously been predicted to be present sometime in the first year. The current data indicates that it emerges at a much older age, however. Why babies don't emit rising amounts of cortisol in response to awakening isn't clear, either.

"It is possible that the CAR is absent or more difficult to detect in early childhood because of the developmental stage of the hippocampus and related structures," said Bright.

Understanding how the CAR develops in infants could offer clues as to how adults respond to such things as stress in later life. Other scientists have found, for instance, that women who as infants or children were subjected to maltreatment and inconsistency of care showed higher than normal levels of cortisol on awakening as adults.

The issue of psychological attunement also has possibly important implications for a close, caring relationship between mother and child. Other researchers have studied so-called "behavioral synchrony," a parent's ability to identify and appropriately respond to her or his child's emotions and behaviors. The psychological attunement suggested in the present study may be part of the same paradigm, said Frick.

Bright said that while there are some experimental-design limitations in the study, this first study of the cortisol awakening response in infants could lead to other research that clarifies why the response in babies is so different from that in adults.

The research was supported by a Graduate Research Fellowship that Bright received from the National Science Foundation.

Original article: http://news.uga.edu/releases/article/when-babies-awake-new-study-shows-surprise-regarding-important-hormone-leve/