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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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Home--History--Bibliography- -Pregnancy Timeline- Prescription Drugs/Pregnancy- Pregnancy Calculator - Reproductive System- -News Alerts

January 6, 2012--------News Archive

Fresh Embryos May Improve Assisted Reproduction
A new study highlights that miscarriage is less likely to occur after the transfer of fresh embryos compared to frozen-thawed embryos.

Air Pollution Link to Diabetes and Hypertension in African-American Women
The risk of diabetes increased by a significant 24 percent, and the risk of hypertension by 11 percent, with increased exposure to nitrogen oxides.

Poor Maternal Diet Can Increase Risk of Diabetes
A molecule called miR-483-3p is produced at higher levels in individuals who experienced a poor diet in their mother's wombs than those who better nourished.

January 5, 2012--------News Archive

Is Obesity in Infants “Programmed” in the Womb?
Omega 3 fatty acids eaten by pregnant women do not prevent expansive adipose tissue from developing in infants.

Progress Towards a Genital Herpes Vaccine
A vaccine under investigation protected some women against infection from one of the two types of herpes simplex the virus that causes genital herpes.

Rare Liver Disorder Kids Tolerate Mom's Graft Best
Children with a rare, life-threatening disease that is the most common cause of neonatal liver failure – biliary atresia – better tolerate liver transplants from their mothers than from their fathers, according to a UCSF-led study.

January 4, 2012--------News Archive

Simple Blood Test in First Trimester Reveals Gender
New research suggests that measuring the ratio of two enzymes in maternal blood will indicate fetal gender.

Nap-deprived Tots Missing Out On More Than Sleep
Toddlers between 2.5 and 3 years who miss only a single daily nap show more anxiety, less joy and interest and poor understanding of how to solve problems.

Women Susceptible to Infection When Ovulating
High levels of estradiol exist just prior to ovulation and decrease immune system effectiveness which can result in the growth and promotion of infection.

January 3, 2012--------News Archive

Gestational Diabetes Linked To Risk of ADHD
Maternal gestational diabetes mellitus and low socioeconomic status, appear to increase the risk of developing childhood ADHD.

Physical Activity, School Performance May Be Linked
By increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain, and increasing endorphins which decrease stress, exercise helps improve academic performance.

January 2, 2012--------News Archive

Evolution Reveals Missing Link in DNA/Protein Shape
Despite knowing for the past 50 years that protein folds are determined by DNA sequence, fold shape complexity has limited development of disease treatments.

Bacteria Fights Fluoride in Toothpaste and in Nature
Research has uncovered the molecular tricks used by bacteria to fight the effects of fluoride, commonly used in toothpaste and mouthwash to combat tooth decay.

Gene Identified in Risk for Pancreatic Cancer
Approximately 10 percent of pancreatic cancer patients come from families with multiple cases of the disease. But finding the gene has been difficult.

WHO Child Growth Charts

What Is Your BMI?

       



Omega 3 food sources

Previously, researchers assumed that eating “bad” fats during pregnancy contribute to excessive infant adipose tissue growth and that “good” Omega 3 fatty acids prevent expansive adipose tissue development.

However, an intervention study run by the Technische Universität München (TUM), Germany, showed no evidence to support this “perinatal programming” theory. Although expectant mothers increased their intake of Omega 3 fatty acids with fish oil capsules and fish-based meals during pregnancy and breastfeeding, their diet did not have any discernable effect on the fat mass of their offspring.

At 12 months, the babies whose moms ate high Omega 3 fatty acids while pregnant, were as rotund or slim as the children in the control group whose moms' diets remained unchanged.

Obesity has become a global epidemic with more and more younger children affected by the overweight trend. And according to the Robert Koch Institute, 15 percent of children aged between 3 and 17 are overweight. Childhood obesity leads to serious consequences – it is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease or cancer in adult life.

Nutritional experts are therefore keen to find effective prevention methods. “Efforts to control weight gain and obesity should target the earliest possible stages of development,” says Professor Hauner, Head of the Else Kröner-Fresenius Centre for Nutritional Medicine at TUM.

To explore that goal, Prof. Hauner decided to research early adipose tissue growth. In their INFAT study, Hauner and his colleagues, explored how the composition of fatty acids in the mother’s diet during pregnancy and lactation affected the offspring. The research focused in particular on the ratio between Omega 6 fatty acids – present in meats, cold cuts and sausages – and Omega 3 fatty acids – concentrated in oily saltwater fish in particular.

The team hypothesized that decreasing this ratio in the mother’s diet was a promising way of preventing infant obesity. Cell culture and mouse studies had shown that arachidonic acid – an Omega 6 fatty acid – resulted in increased adipogenesis and growth of fat mass in offspring. Experiments with Omega 3 fatty acids, however, revealed a curbing effect on adipose tissue growth among mice offspring.

However, the results of the INFAT study challenge the validity of a “lean” perinatal programming theory. Study results appear in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism.

Hauner and his researchers closely observed and monitored 208 expectant mothers from the start of their pregnancies. One group increased its intake of Omega 3 fatty acids by taking fish oil capsules and reducing meat-based meals during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The control group maintained its usual diet and refrained from taking fish oil capsules.

In both groups, skinfold thickness (SFT) measurements were used to estimate infant adipose tissue growth at regular intervals up until the age of 12 months. For the first time in infants of this age, ultrasound was also used to measure the fat layer at defined sites over the abdomen. The results show no difference in infant adipose tissue growth between the two groups.

This study thus refutes the perinatal programming theory. The INFAT study revealed no evidence to support the effectiveness of fish oil capsules during pregnancy as a way to control excessive weight gain in infants.

So how seriously can we take claims that food supplements increase intelligence, protect against allergies and help avoid obesity? “Many of the claims associated with food supplements should be treated with caution,” continues Hauner. “Prenatal development is a complex process that cannot be reduced to a simple correlation between nutrient intake and fat mass growth. There are a number of additional, environmental factors and mechanisms that influence body weight – for instance in daycare or at school.”

The INFAT study will continue to monitor the children at regular intervals until they reach the age of five. The team now plans to explore other assumptions surrounding the beneficial properties of Omega 3 fatty acids – in relation, for example, to protection against asthma or neurodermatitis.

INFAT is the first prospective, dietary intervention study to provide a rich data set to explore these assumptions.

The INFAT study (The impact of nutritional fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation on early human adipose tissue development) is sponsored by the German Ministry of Education and Research (through the competence network on obesity), the European Union (EARNEST consortium), the Danone Research Center, the Else Kröner-Fresenius Trust and the Unilever Foundation.

Hauner H, Much D, Vollhardt C, Brunner S, Schmid D, Sedlmeier EM, Heimberg E, Schuster T, Zimmermann A, Schneider KTM, Bader BL, Amann-Gassner U. Effect of reducing the n-6/n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) ratio during pregnancy and lactation on infant adipose tissue growth within the first year of life (INFAT-study): an open-label, randomized, controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, DOI: 10.3945/​ajcn.111.022590, online publiziert am 28. 12. 2011
http://www.ajcn.org/content/early/2011/12/26/ajcn.111.022590.abstract

Hauner H, Vollhardt C, Schneider KTM, Zimmermann A, Schuster T, Amann-Gassner U. The impact of nutritional fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation on early human adipose tissue development. Rationale and design of the INFAT study. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2009; 54(2):97–103, DOI: 10.1159/000209267

Original article: http://portal.mytum.de/pressestelle/pressemitteilungen/NewsArticle_20120104_102201