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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 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 recombinant inbred mice, scientists have identified where polymorphic genes contribute to cone photoreceptors.

WHO Child Growth Charts

Today, one in four or five women in Ontario will give birth through a cesarean or "C-section." A new study, led by researchers from St. Michael's Hospital and The Wilson Centre for Research in Education and the Department of Anesthesia, University of Toronto, has found that many labour and delivery health professionals lack a clear understanding of the anesthesiologist's role as a physician with specialized skills in the management of seriously sick pregnant patients.

This role misperception may affect the quality of care delivered to mothers and their babies.

"Anesthesiologists are pivotal in so many areas of the hospital, yet their work and expertise are not well understood, especially in labour and delivery settings," said Dr. Saroo Sharma, Currie Fellow at The Wilson Centre and resident physician at the Department of Anaesthesia, University of Toronto and lead investigator of the study.

"This study is the first-of-its-kind that explores specifically how anesthesiologists and their labour and delivery colleagues perceive the anesthesiologist's role, and the potential impact of these perceptions on interprofessional dynamics and team collaboration in labour and delivery."

The study, co-supervised by Dr. Patricia Houston, vice-president of education at St. Michael's Hospital, and Dr. Scott Reeves with the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of Michael's Hospital and The Wilson Centre, was recently presented at the first International Conference on Faculty Development in the Health Professions in Toronto at St. Michael's Hospital.

Health providers in the labour and delivery units at two urban teaching hospitals in Toronto were interviewed. Participants (ranging from midwives, nurses and obstetricians, as well as anesthesiologists, all with different levels of experience) were asked a series of in-depth questions to determine their understanding of the anesthesiologist's role during labour and delivery, the anesthesia process, and the type and amount of education and training they had received around anaesthesia management.

On analysis of the data, a number of important themes emerged:

Lack of appreciation for the complexity of anesthesia during labor and delivery:

While midwives, nurses and obstetricians appreciated the role of their anesthesiologist colleagues, particularly in the provision of labour pain relief and anesthetics for C-sections, many reported that their understanding of the actual process of anesthesia and its potential complications, were limited. This was echoed by the anesthesiologists in the study who reported that epidurals and other anesthetic interventions were seen merely as 'technical' activities, rather than potentially complex medical care.

Lack of training about anesthesia:

Many nurses and midwives received little formal training about the anesthesia process in school or during their clinical placements. Similarly, most obstetricians had very little postgraduate exposure to formal anaesthesia training. The study also revealed that opportunities for structured communication between all labour and delivery health professionals (ex. to discuss cases or to debrief after an adverse event) were infrequent and therefore, a missed opportunity for team learning and quality improvement.

Anesthesiologist's membership in the labour and delivery 'team':

Nurses, midwives, obstetricians and other members of the obstetrical team spend countless hours with the patient throughout the entire labouring process. In comparison, the study found that the anesthesiologist had less involvement in decision-making processes, even when they could have had useful and important input into a patient's care, particularly during obstetric emergencies. The study found that this misunderstanding and the often peripheral position of the anesthesiologist on the team, led to isolation of the anesthesiologists in their work, which had implications for effective communication, collaboration and the safe delivery of care.

Imbalances and tensions between health professionals:

The study found that some engrained stereotypes and historical tensions were present between different health professions. Instances of hesitation to question other professionals about decisions related to patient care were sometimes borne out of fear, or were due to inadequate training and knowledge.

In other instances, participants described situations where the anesthesiologist assumed that colleagues had the proper experience and skills to provide anesthetic assistance in an emergency. When it was found that they did not, most of the anesthesiologists studied tended to revert to a strategy of 'self-sufficiency' rather than being vocal about their need for adequate assistance.

"This study tells us that as health professionals, we have an immense amount of work to do in order to build a culture of true interprofessional teamwork and to provide the necessary training and supports to ensure that we deliver the best possible patient care, " Dr. Sharma added.

St. Michael's Hospital provides compassionate care to all who walk through its doors. The Hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 23 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital's recognized areas of expertise.

Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research at St. Michael's Hospital is recognized and put into practice around the world. Founded in 1892, the Hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-05/smh-puo052011.php