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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 33333333333333333333333
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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 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.

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


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

Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston with collaborators at other institutions, have found new insights into how bone cells produce new bone in response to mechanical stresses, such as exercise.

The findings suggest new strategies for treating low bone density diseases such as osteoporosis in adults and osteogenesis imperfecta in children.

The team, led by Matthew Warman, MD, of the Orthopedic Research Laboratories (ORL) in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Children's Hospital Boston, published their findings May 22 in Nature Medicine advanced online edition.

Warman and his colleagues developed mouse models to better understand the role of a gene called Lrp5 in bone growth.

While the gene's exact functions remain unclear, Lrp5 is believed to help mature bone cells, called osteocytes, respond to changes in mechanical load stresses - and call for the production of more bone as needed. Mutations that turn Lrp5 off were seen to lead to brittle bones, while mutations that turn Lrp5 on too high, or high bone mass (HBM) mutations, cause bones to become extra strong and extra thick.

Being able to selectively express HBM mutations of Lrp5, investigators accurately increased bone density in mice that is also seen in human patients with the same mutations. This result establishes that Lrp5 functions locally in bone to regulate bone mass.

"These HBM mutations seem to fool the osteocytes, the most mature bone cells, into thinking they hadn't made enough bone tissue," said Warman, also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School. "This knowledge should bolster efforts to develop pharmacologic agents that function similarly to the HBM mutations, in order to trick bone cells into making more bone. In fact, several companies are pursuing these strategies, and our data provides strong support for their continuing this line of investigation."

Turning HBM-Lrp5 on only in the bone cells of the limbs, and not those of the spine, scientists found they had increased bone density only in the limbs and not in the spine.

"These results tell us that Lrp5 is really working in mature bone cells," Warman said. "They also tell us that targeting mature bone cells might be enough to increase bone mass and treat diseases like osteoporosis and other skeletal fragility disorders."

However, the team found no connection between Lrp5, bone mass, and serotonin, a compound better known for its role as a neurotransmitter in the brain - but which is also produced in the intestines. This disagrees with previous studies that suggested Lrp5 affects bone density indirectly through intestinal serotonin production, rather than strictly within bone.

"We wanted to independently confirm the previous publications which suggested that Lrp5 exerts its effect on bone via intestinal serotonin, but our data does not support this hypothesis," Warman noted. "While the notion that gut serotonin affects bone mass is intriguing, we hope that our results encourage other investigators to focus on examining the local role of Lrp5 in bone."

The findings also raise a number of new questions. "We need to understand when we can influence Lrp5 in order to induce bone cells to build more bone. In our mice, the Lrp5 mutations causing increased bone mass were present at birth, whereas if we want to design therapies that could improve bone strength in adults with osteoporosis, who are in their 60's or 70's, we would need to study the effect of inducing the HBM mutations in aged mice, instead of newborn mice," Warman noted.

"We also need to better understand which genes and proteins function upstream and downstream in the Lrp5 signaling pathway. And we want to see whether strategies that target Lrp5 can help increase bone mass and improve bone strength in persons with inherited skeletal fragility conditions like osteogenesis imperfecta (OI).

Even though using Lrp5 to increase bone formation will not fix the underlying genetic cause of a child's osteogenesis imperfecta, it may still be helpful in reducing the high rates of fracture that patients with OI commonly experience."

This study was supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the Van Andel Research Institute.

Children's Hospital Boston is home to the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 1,100 scientists, including nine members of the National Academy of Sciences, 12 members of the Institute of Medicine and 13 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children's research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children's Hospital Boston today is a 395 bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Children's also is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information about research and clinical innovation at Children's, visit: http://vectorblog.org.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-05/chb-adp052011.php