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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
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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

Researchers from the Monell Center report that 6-month-old infants who have been introduced to starchy table foods – which often contain added salt – have a greater preference for salty taste than do infants not yet eating these foods.

Reflecting their greater liking for salty taste, the exposed infants consumed 55 percent more salt during a preference test than did infants not yet introduced to starchy foods.

At preschool age, the same infants were more likely to consume plain salt, demonstrating the enduring influence of early dietary exposure. The findings highlight the potentially significant role of early dietary experience in shaping the salty taste preferences of infants and young children.

"More and more evidence is showing us that the first months of life constitute a sensitive period for shaping flavor preferences. In light of the health consequences of excess sodium intake, we asked if the effect of early experience extended to salt," said lead author Leslie J. Stein, Ph.D., a physiological psychologist at Monell.

It has been estimated that reducing sodium intakes could prevent more than 100,000 deaths annually and save billions in medical costs in the United States alone. Beginning as early as 1969, the U.S. government has issued statements calling for a reduction in sodium intake. To date, the call to reduce salt intake has not been successful, in part because humans like the taste of salt.

"Salty taste tells us about the presence of sodium, a critical nutrient needed for survival," said senior author Gary Beauchamp, Ph.D., a behavioral biologist at Monell. "However, many authorities say that most people eat too much salt. Because it's been so hard to change adult intakes, we asked whether preferences might be influenced earlier in life through experience with salty food. If so, this may point to the development of public health initiatives that could help people reduce their salt intake."

In the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, salt preference of 61 infants was tested at both 2 and 6 months of age. At each age, the infant was allowed to drink from three bottles for two minutes each. One bottle contained water, another contained a moderate concentration of salt (one percent, about the saltiness of commercial chicken noodle soup) and the third bottle had a higher concentration of salt (two percent, which tastes extremely salty to adults).

Preference for salty taste was calculated at each age by comparing the amount the infant consumed of a given salt solution to the amount of water it consumed. Thus, if the infant drank more of the one percent salt solution than water, it was considered to have a preference for the one percent solution.

Two-month-old infants were either indifferent to (one percent) or rejected (two percent) the salt solutions. At 6 months, salty taste preference of the same infants was related to previous exposure to starchy table food. The 26 infants already eating starchy foods preferred both salt solutions to water, while the 35 babies who had not yet been introduced to these foods remained indifferent to or continued to reject the salt solutions.

The researchers focused on starchy table foods because they include processed foods, such as breakfast cereals, bread and crackers, which frequently are used as beginning foods and often contain added salt. Exposure to other types of table foods, such as fruit, was not associated with an increased preference for the taste of salt.

"Our findings suggest that early dietary experience influences the preference for salty taste," said Stein.

To explore whether the early effect extended into childhood, 26 of the children returned at preschool age. Mothers completed questionnaires about the children's dietary behaviors, which revealed that the 12 children who were introduced to starchy table foods before six months of age were more likely to lick salt from foods and also were likely to eat plain salt. These findings suggest that the early dietary exposure was related to an increased affinity for the taste of salt several years later.

"It's important to note that our conclusions are limited by the correlational nature of the study," said Stein. "Experimental studies are now needed to address the important question of how children and adults come to prefer high levels of salt in their food."

Studies at Monell will continue to explore the role of early experience in shaping dietary intake across the lifespan.

Beverly J. Cowart of Monell also contributed to the research, which was funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

The Monell Chemical Senses Center is an independent nonprofit basic research institute based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Monell advances scientific understanding of the mechanisms and functions of taste and smell to benefit human health and well-being. Using an interdisciplinary approach, scientists collaborate in program areas of sensation and perception; neuroscience and molecular biology; environmental and occupational health; nutrition and appetite; health and well-being; development, aging and regeneration; and chemical ecology and communication. For more information please visit Monell.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-12/mcsc-ede121411.php