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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 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 weeks 0 - 40 and follow fetal growth
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May 20, 2011--------News Archive

New Complexity In Genetic Diversity Of RNA
It turns out
RNA proteins do not precisely match the genes that encode them.

Validating Preschool Programs For Autism
Scientists from the Universities of Miami, North Carolina and Colorado, developed measures to evaluate teaching programs for autistic preschool children.


May 19, 2011--------News Archive

New Technique To 'Lift The Hood’ On Autism
A new study provides compelling evidence that exome-sequencing is an effective way to discover which of the 20,000 and more genes in the human genome are responsible for autism spectrum disorders.

Maternal Smoking Causes Changes In Fetal DNA
Children whose mothers or grandmothers smoked during pregnancy are at increased risk of asthma in childhood. A new study indicates changes in DNA methylation occuring before birth may be the root cause.


May 18, 2011--------News Archive

New Antiepileptic Drugs Don't Increase Birth Defects
Use of newer-generation antiepileptic drugs prescribed for bipolar mood disorders and migraine headaches, during the first trimester of pregnancy, are not associated with an increased risk of major birth defects in the first year of life in Denmark.

Neglect And Deprevation Age a Child's Chromosomes
Study of institutionalized Romanian children finds prematurely shortened telomeres, a mark of cell aging.


May 17, 2011--------News Archive

Older Fathers Linked to Autism In Children
Researchers sequenced protein-coding sections of affected childrens' genomes and their findings support population studies showing that autism is more common among children of older parents, especially older fathers.

Gene Variation Linked to Infertility in Women
A variation in a gene involved in regulating cholesterol also appears to affect progesterone in women, making it a likely culprit in cases of infertility.


May 16, 2011--------News Archive

Genetic Clue to Common Birth Defects Found
Scientists at King’s College London have for the first time uncovered a gene responsible for Adams-Oliver Syndrome, giving valuable insight into the possible genetic causes of common birth defects found in the wider population.

'Master switch' For Obesity and Diabetes Discovered
A gene linked to type 2 diabetes and cholesterol levels is in fact a 'master regulator' gene, which controls other genes found within fat in the body.

Tiny Change in One Gene May Explain Human Brain
The deep fissures and convolutions that increase the surface area and allow for rational and abstract thoughts of the human brain may be due to the LAMC3 gene.

Gene Change Can Get You Cancer Or Normal Growth
The deep fissures and convolutions that increase the surface area and allow for rational and abstract thoughts of the human brain may be due to one gene.


WHO Child Growth Charts

Use of newer-generation antiepileptic drugs, which are also prescribed for bipolar mood disorders and migraine headaches, during the first trimester of pregnancy, was not associated with an increased risk of major birth defects in the first year of life among infants in Denmark, according to a study in the May 18 issue of JAMA. Older-generation antiepileptic drugs are associated with an increased risk of birth defects.

"Epilepsy during pregnancy is a therapeutic challenge. Since the 1990s, the number of licensed antiepileptic drugs has substantially increased, but safety data on first-trimester use of newer-generation antiepileptic drugs and birth defects are limited," according to background information in the article.

Ditte Molgaard-Nielsen, M.Sc., and Anders Hviid, M.Sc., Dr.Med.Sci., of the Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark, conducted a study to analyze the association between the use of lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine, topiramate, gabapentin, and levetiracetam (newer-generation antiepileptic drugs) during the first trimester of pregnancy and the risk of any major birth defects. The study included data on 837,795 live-born infants in Denmark from January 1996 through September 2008.

Individual information on dispensed antiepileptic drugs to mothers, birth defect diagnoses, and potential conflicts based on factors that can influence outcomes, were ascertained from nationwide health registries.

Among the 837,795 live births included in the study, 19,960 were diagnosed with a major birth defect (2.4 percent) during the first year of life. Among 1,532 pregnancies exposed to lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine, topiramate, gabapentin, or levetiracetam at any time during the first trimester, 49 infants were diagnosed with a major birth defect (3.2 percent) compared with 19,911 infants (2.4 percent) among 836,263 unexposed pregnancies.

After adjusting for various factors, the authors found that exposure to lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine, topiramate, gabapentin, or levetiracetam at any time during the first trimester was not associated with an increased risk of major birth defects. Gabapentin and levetiracetam exposure during the first trimester was uncommon.

The prevalence odds ratios for any major birth defects after exposure to any newer-generation antiepileptic drugs during the first trimester were not statistically different for mothers with epilepsy, mood affective disorder or migraine, or without a diagnosis.

"Our study, to our knowledge, is the largest analytic cohort study on this topic and provides comprehensive safety information on a class of drugs commonly used during pregnancy. The use of lamotrigine and oxcarbazepine during the first trimester was not associated with moderate or greater risks of major birth defects like the older-generation antiepileptic drugs, but our study cannot exclude a minor excess in risk of major birth defects or risks of specific birth defects. Topiramate, gabapentin, and levetiracetam do not appear to be major teratogens [agent that can cause malformations in an embryo or fetus], but our study cannot exclude minor to moderate risks of major birth defects," the authors conclude.

(JAMA. 2011;305[19]1996-2002. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org) Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-05/jaaj-puo051211.php