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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 27, 2011--------News Archive

Predicting Diabetes 7 Years Before Pregnancy
A woman's risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy can be identified up to seven years before she is pregnant based on routine blood sugar and weight.

Caffeine Can Reduce Fertility In Women
Caffeine reduces muscle activity in the fallopian tubes which should move eggs from a woman's ovaries into her womb.


May 26, 2011--------News Archive

Take Prenatal Vitamins Early And Reduce Autism
Women who reported not taking a daily prenatal vitamin immediately before and during the first month of pregnancy were nearly twice as likely to have a child with an autism spectrum disorder.

High-Fat Pregnancy Diet Programs Child for Diabetes
A high-fat diet during pregnancy can program a woman's baby for future diabetes, even if she herself is not obese or diabetic.


May 25, 2011--------News Archive

New Insight Into Obesity and Metabolic Disorders
Focussing on endoplasmic reticulum reverses Type 2 diabetes in mice.

New Drug Stops Aggressive Childhood Leukemia
Investigators have been able to overcome a form of leukemia through targeted therapy, completly eradicating the cancer in cell and animal studies.


May 24, 2011--------News Archive

New Genetic Testing Technology for IVF Embryos
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has devised a technique to help couples have in vitro fertilized babies free of genetic disease and chromosomal abnormalities.

A New Program for Neural Stem Cells
Max Planck Institute scientists have just produced central nervous system cells from neural stem cells taken from the peripheral nervous system.


May 23, 2011--------News Archive

The Mosh Pit of Cell Movement
Physical forces that guide how cells migrate - how they get from place to place inside the living body - are a mess.

Understanding and Treating Brittle Bones
Hope for developing new treatment of bone density mutations leading to such conditions as osteoporosis in adults and osteogenesis imperfecta in children.

Anesthesiologists' Affect On Maternal Fetal Outcome
A first-of-its-kind study exploring how anesthesiologists are perceived by labor and delivery colleagues.

Understanding How Retinas Develop
Using inbred mice, scientists have identified where genes contribute to cone photoreceptor development.

WHO Child Growth Charts

New research at UC Santa Barbara is contributing to the basic biological understanding of how retinas develop. The study is part of the campus's expanding vision research.

The new studies are published online in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science (IOVS).

The scientists used mice as a research model to show that populations of retinal neurons display a wide-ranging variability amongst themselves. In the PNAS article, they demonstrate a nearly two-fold variation in the number of interneurons called horizontal cells. In the IOVS article, they report a conspicuous variation in the number of cone photoreceptors.

"These studies individually demonstrate the genetic determinants of nerve cell numbers," said Benjamin E. Reese, senior author and professor with the Neuroscience Research Institute and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. "Together, they show that different nerve cell types are modulated independent of one another."

Using recombinant inbred mice, Irene Whitney, graduate student and first author of both articles, and Mary Raven, staff scientist and co-author, were able to identify the specific location in a gene sequence where polymorphic genes begin to vary. In the article they explain variation in cone photoreceptors and identify two potential areas on chromosome 10 where the modification of cone production begins.

In the PNAS article, the scientists - working with colleagues from four other U.S. institutions - identify a promising candidate gene at a location on chromosome 13, a transcription factor gene called Islet-1. The Islet-1 gene turns out to be critical for regulating horizontal cell numbers in genetically modified mice. The scientists found that the Islet-1 gene differs between strains of mice when horizontal cells are just being formed within the mouse embryo. They established that Islet-1 is genetically expressed due to a variation within a regulatory region of the gene itself. Finally, they identified a single nucleotide polymorphism on Islet-1 that recently was shown to play a role in retinal development.

Variation in the ratio of nerve cells requires flexability in order to guarantee an entire visual field is covered by circuits to increase visual perception. The Reese lab has documented this very plasticity in different strains of mice and genetically modified mice, in a series of other published studies.

Efforts to use genetic engineering and stem cell biology to repair diseased retinas depends upon a complete understanding of the developmental biology of the retina, explained Reese.

"These particular studies are just one contribution in an enormously complex process," said Reese. "Our fundamental interest is in the development the retina - how you 'build' this neural tissue that, when fully mature, will mediate our visual abilities."

Vision research at UCSB has been steadily expanding in recent decades.

"Since I arrived here in 1971, UCSB's vision research has grown to include dozens of scientists, in a number of labs, contributing to an explosion of research in the field," said Steven Fisher, professor emeritus in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, and professor in the Neuroscience Research Institute.

The National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health funded both of the above studies. Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-05/uoc--usm052011.php