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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
Google Search artcles published since 2007
 
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

BMI For Adults Widget


       



MAMAS Study to Curb Excessive Weight Gain in Pregnant Women
Jennifer Daubenmier, PhD, from the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, describes a new study that aims to help overweight pregnant women avoid unhealthy weight gain with stress reduction techniques.

Many dread gaining weight during the holiday season, but there may be hope for those who find that stress causes them to reach for yet another helping of holiday goodies.

In a study by UCSF researchers published online in the Journal of Obesity, mastering simple mindful eating and stress-reduction techniques helped prevent weight gain even without dieting.

Women in the study who experienced the greatest reduction in stress tended to have the most loss of deep belly fat. To a greater degree than fat that lies just under the skin, this deep abdominal fat is associated with an elevated risk for developing heart disease or diabetes.

“You’re training the mind to notice, but to not automatically react based on habitual patterns — to not reach for a candy bar in response to feeling anger, for example,” said UCSF researcher Jennifer Daubenmier, PhD, from the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. “If you can first recognize what you are feeling before you act, you have a greater chance of making a wiser decision.”

Daubenmier led the current study with UCSF psychologist Elissa Epel, PhD. The study, published online in October, is part of ongoing UCSF research into how stress and the stress hormone cortisol are linked to eating behavior, fat and health.

Recognizing Sensations of Hunger, Fullness and Taste Satisfaction
The women who participated were not on calorie-counting diets. Instead, 24 of the 47 chronically stressed, overweight and obese women were randomly assigned to mindfulness training and practice, and the other 23 served as a control group. Although no diets were prescribed, all participants attended one session about the basics of healthy eating and exercise.

The training included nine weekly sessions, each lasting 2 1/2 hours, during which the women learned stress reduction techniques and how to be more aware of their eating by recognizing bodily sensations — including hunger, fullness and taste satisfaction. At week six they attended an intensive seven-hour, silent meditation retreat.

Comfort Food May Be “Self-Medication” to Dial Down Stress
A new study indicates that many humans might be “self-medicating” when faced with chronic stress, by eating more comfort foods containing sugar and fat. In the long term, the habit may dampen down the body’s stress response, governed by the hormone cortisol, according to UCSF researchers.

In a study of 59 healthy, pre-menopausal women published in the November issue of the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, UCSF psychologist Elissa Epel, PhD, and her colleagues found that among women who ranked in the top quarter for chronic life stress, having more abdominal fat was associated with lower daily cortisol secretion, and with less hormone secretion in response to acute stress.


“It is very likely that comfort food intake is a double-edged sword — leading not only to a dampened-down stress response system, but also to greater levels of risky abdominal fat, ” UCSF psychologist Elissa Epel, PhD


They were asked to set aside 30 minutes daily for meditation exercises and to practice mindful eating during meals. Researchers used a scientifically tested survey to gauge psychological stress before and after the four-month study, and recorded the women’s fat and cortisol levels.

The UCSF researchers looked for changes in the amount of deep abdominal fat and overall weight. They also measured secretion of cortisol shortly after awakening, a time when cortisol peaks in those under chronic stress.

Cortisol secretion runs in a daily cycle and normally ramps up when we awaken. But secretion also is triggered by both real and perceived threats. If we wake up, anticipate the day’s events, and experience these thoughts as stressful, cortisol secretion may spike even higher, Daubenmier said.

On Average, Mindful, Obese Women Did not Gain Weight in Study
Among women in the treatment group, changes in body awareness, chronic stress, cortisol secretion and abdominal fat were clearly linked. Those who had greater improvements in listening to their bodies’ cues, or greater reductions in stress or cortisol, experienced the greatest reductions in abdominal fat.

Among the subset of obese women in the study, those who received the mindfulness training had significant reductions in cortisol after awakening and also maintained their total body weight, compared to women in the waitlist group, who had stable cortisol levels and continued to gain weight.

The stress-reduction and mindful-eating techniques used in the study were adapted from methods developed three decades ago by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, the first director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a founding member of the Cambridge Zen Center. The mindful-eating techniques used in the UCSF study are part of a larger program of mindful eating developed by Jean Kristeller, PhD, of Indiana State University.

Ongoing Study of Pregnant Women
“In this study we were trying to cultivate people’s ability to pay attention to their sensations of hunger, fullness and taste satisfaction as a guide for limiting how much they eat,” Daubenmier said. “We tried to reduce eating in response to emotions or external cues that typically drive overeating behavior.”

Daubenmier said the small study is preliminary and must be confirmed in ongoing, follow-up research. Furthermore, when the entire study group was included in the analysis — overweight as well as obese women — the researchers found no significant differences in weight change between women who practiced stress reduction and mindful eating and those on the waiting list.

In a separate, ongoing study with lower-income, pregnant women who are overweight, Epel, Daubenmier and colleagues are teaching similar mindful-eating techniques. Pregnancy is a time when heavy women tend to gain an excessive amount of weight and later find it very hard to lose it. Furthermore, excessive weight gain during pregnancy can harm the baby’s health.

“We are intervening at a critical point, when the health of the next generation is being shaped,” Epel said. “We hope to improve the health of both the mothers and their babies.”

Original article: http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2011/12/11091/stress-reduction-and-mindful-eating-curb-weight-gain-among-overweight-women