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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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Disclaimer: The Visible Embryo web site is provided for your general information only. The information contained on this site should not be treated as a substitute for medical, legal or other professional advice. Neither is The Visible Embryo responsible or liable for the contents of any websites of third parties which are listed on this site.
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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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December 23, 2011--------News Archive

Defending the Genome
New research illustrates how the genome adapts to a transposon invasion that threatens fertility in the fruit fly. The same mechanism may exist in humans.

Multiple Sclerosis Not an Immune System Disease
Recent research argues that multiple sclerosis, long viewed as primarily an autoimmune disease, is more similar to hardening of the arteries.

Toddlers Rely On Others To Monitor Their Speech
When grown-ups and kids speak, they listen to the sound of their voice and make corrections based on that auditory feedback - something toddlers can't do.

December 22, 2011--------News Archive

How Pregnancy Changes a Woman’s Brain
At no other time in a woman’s life does she experience such massive hormonal fluctuations as during pregnancy.

New Device To Support Improved Newborn Health
Fetal heart rate monitor also tracks how well an infant is using oxygen.

Weight Reduction Through Mindful Eating
Pregnancy is a time when heavy women tend to gain an excessive amount of weight and later find it very hard to lose.

December 21, 2011--------News Archive

Breast Cancer, Heart Disease Share Common Roots
Women who are at risk for breast cancer may also be at greater risk for heart disease.

Breastfeeding Promotes Healthy Growth
Breastfeeding lowers the growth hormones IGF-I and insulin, promoting slightly slower growth and reducing adult risk of overweight and diabetes.

First Months of Life Shape Flavor Preferences
Early dietary experience shapes salt preference of infants and preschoolers.

December 20, 2011--------News Archive

Babies Remember Even As They Seem to Forget
How much do babies remember about the world around them, and what details do their brains need to absorb to help them keep track of things and people?

Safer Treatment for Asthma, Allergies, Arthritis?
Found, a missing link between our biological clock and sugar metabolism which may avoid serious side effects of drugs used for asthma, allergies and arthritis.

Endometriosis Link to Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease is found in women with endometriosis in a nationwide Danish study.

December 19, 2011--------News Archive

Gene Discovered that Causes Rare Infant Epilepsy
The childhood disorder PKD is linked to a mysterious gene found in the brain called PRRT2 - a gene with little resemblance to anything in the human genome.

Don't Buy Noisy Toys!
If listened to at arms length, some popular items can permanently damage children's hearing - and hearing loss is not curable.

Childhood Cancer Drugs Cure, Later Cause Problems
Study indicates that drug toxicity may be related to genetic factors increasing risk of cardiomyopathy significantly in individuals with two copies of specific gene.

WHO Child Growth Charts

Salk scientists have discovered a missing link between the body's biological clock and sugar metabolism system, a finding that may help avoid the serious side effects of drugs used for treating asthma, allergies and arthritis.

In a paper published last week in Nature, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies report finding that proteins that control the body's biological rhythms, known as cryptochromes, also interact with metabolic switches that are targeted by certain anti-inflammatory drugs.

The finding suggests that side effects of current drugs might be avoided by considering patients' biological rhythms when administering drugs, or by developing new drugs that target the cryptochromes.

"We knew that our sleep and wake cycle are tied to when our bodies process nutrients, but how this happened at the genetic and molecular level was a complete mystery," says Ronald M. Evans, a professor in Salk's Gene Expression Laboratory, who led the research team. "Now we've found the link between these two important systems, which could serve as a model for how other cellular processes are linked and could hold promise for better therapies."

Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones that occur naturally in the body and help control the amount of sugar in a person's blood, so that nutrient levels rise in the morning to fuel daily activities and fall again at night. They function in cells by interacting with glucocorticoid receptors, molecular switches on the outside of the nucleus, which Evans first discovered in 1985.

Glucocorticoids also play a role in regulating inflammation and are used as anti-inflammatory drugs for diseases caused by an overactive immune system, such as allergies, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. They are also used to treat inflammation in cancer patients.

However, because of their role in sugar metabolism, the steroids can disrupt a person's normal metabolism, resulting in dangerous side effects, including excessively high blood sugar levels, insulin resistance and diabetic complications.

The Salk researchers may have found a way around these side effects by discovering a new function for cryptochromes 1 and 2, proteins that were previously known for their function in the biological clock.

The cryptochromes serve as breaks to slow the clock's activity, signaling our biological systems to wind down each evening. In the morning, they stop inhibiting the clock's activity, helping our physiology ramp up for the coming day.

In their new study on mouse cells, Evans and his colleagues made the surprising discovery that cryptochromes also interact with glucocorticoid receptors, helping to regulate how the body stores and uses sugar.

"We found that not only are the crytopchromes essential to the functioning of the circadian clock, they regulate glucocorticoid action, and thus are central to how the clock interacts with our daily metabolism of nutrients," says Katja A. Lamia, an assistant professor at The Scripps Research Institute and former post-doctoral researcher in Evan's laboratory at Salk.

Mouse cells function much like human cells, so the findings could have important implications for treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer. By taking into account the daily rise and fall of cryptochrome levels, the scientists say, doctors might be able to better time administration of glucocorticoid drugs to avoid certain side effects related to sugar metabolism.

The discovery also raises the possibility of developing new anti-inflammatory drugs that avoid some side effects by targeting cryptochromes instead of directly targeting the glucocorticoid switches.

More broadly, Evans says, the study may help explain the connection between sleep and nutrient metabolism in our bodies, including why people with jobs that require night work or erratic hours are at higher risk for obesity and diabetes.

"Disrupting the normal day-night cycle of activity may prevent a person's biological clock from synchronizing correctly with their daily patterns of nutrient metabolism," Evans says. "As a result, the body might not store and process sugar normally, leading to metabolic disease."

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Life Sciences Research Foundation.

Original article: http://www.salk.edu/news/pressrelease_details.php?press_id=533