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

April 17, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts

In human embryos, the cranial (anterior) neuropore closes approximately on day 24 and the caudal (posterior) neuropore on day 26 (Carnegie stages 11 and 13).
Failure of neuropore closure results in such conditions as anecephaly and spina bifida.

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Scientists Find Neural Stem Cell Regulator

The lack of this regulator gene can cause neural tube defects

Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have found that lack of a specific gene interrupts neural tube closure, a condition that can cause death or paralysis.

"The neural tube is the beginning of the brain and spinal cord," said the study's lead investigator Lee Niswander, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics at the CU School of Medicine. "

A defect in the mLin41 gene doesn't allow the tube to close because not enough neural progenitor cells are being made. The study was a cover story in the journal Genes & Development.

Niswander and the paper's first author, Jianfu Chen, Ph.D., made their findings while studying neural stem cells in mice. They said the cells use distinct self-renewal programs to meet the demand of tissue growth and repair during different stages of embryo development.

The molecular mechanisms that control these programs remain largely unknown.

The researchers discovered that the gene mLin41 in mice controls the extent of neural stem cell proliferation during tneural closure but not at the later stage of brain development.

According to Chen, mLin41 works with small RNAs and RNA regulators that have never been investigated before in connection with neural tube formation.

Niswander, who is also an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute based in Washington, D.C., said the findings shed new light on neural tube development.

"Our work opens up a whole other pathway toward understanding neural tube defects," she said. "It's a new and significant piece of the puzzle behind understanding how this happens."

Faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at University of Colorado Hospital, The Children's Hospital Colorado, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Degrees offered by the CU Denver School of Medicine include doctor of medicine, doctor of physical therapy, and masters of physician assistant studies. The School is located on the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus, one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-04/uocd-sfn041612.php