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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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The World Health Organization (WHO) has created a new Web site to help researchers, doctors and
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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 Jan 20, 2015

The gastrointestinal tract is a large and vulnerable surface exposed to outside influences.
It must be accessible to nutrients while simultaneously defending the body against pathogens.
Image Credit: Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology

 






 

 

How the rotavirus causes infection in children

Researchers now understand how a virus kills up to half a million children each year. Rotaviruses are considered the most important cause of severe diarrhea in children.

A paper published in the international journal Nature Communications reveals how the virus attacks cells through carbohydrate receptors located on a child's intestines. "Our findings greatly advance our understanding of the sugar receptors used by human rotaviruses and provide clues as to how we might target this virus to stop it infecting [intestinal] cells," says Professor Mark von Itzstein, a co-senior author of the paper and Director of the Institute for Glycomics.


"What we have found is that not all human rotaviruses recognise the same sugar receptor and this information is invaluable in the discovery of anti-rotaviral drugs."

Associate Professor Barbara Coulson, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne, and also a co-senior author.


Dr Thomas Haselhorst, an Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the Institute for Glycomics and a co-senior author on the paper, says the findings also offer potential for new vaccine development strategies.

"We are very excited, as we now have a much better understanding of the carbohydrates important for the virus to latch on to for infection."

The Griffith and Melbourne team is now further advancing the work towards new drug and vaccine development.

Abstract
Histo-blood group antigens (HBGAs) have been proposed as rotavirus receptors. H type-1 and Lewisb antigens have been reported to bind ?VP8* from major human rotavirus genotypes P[4], P[6] and P[8], while ?VP8* from a rarer P[14] rotavirus recognizes A-type HBGAs. However, the role and significance of HBGA receptors in rotavirus pathogenesis remains uncertain. Here we report that P[14] rotavirus HAL1166 and the related P[9] human rotavirus K8 bind to A-type HBGAs, although neither virus engages the HBGA-specific α1,2-linked ?fucose moiety. Notably, human rotaviruses DS-1 (P[4]) and RV-3 (P[6]) also use A-type HBGAs for infection, with ?fucose involvement. However, human P[8] rotavirus Wa does not recognize A-type HBGAs. Furthermore, the common human rotaviruses that we have investigated do not use Lewisb and H type-1 antigens. Our results indicate that A-type HBGAs are receptors for human rotaviruses, although rotavirus strains vary in their ability to recognize these antigens.


The multidisciplinary study was funded by The National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council.

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