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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 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

Physical forces that guide how cells migrate - how they manage to get from place to place in a coordinated fashion inside the living body - are poorly understood.

However, a new study is providing an inside view of cell migration as it occurs during embryo development soon after fertilization. The findings may also help explain how cancer cells migrate in the deadly process of metastasis.

Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) have, for the first time, devised a way to measure the collective forces affecting cell migration. And to their surprise, the cells fight it out, each pushing and pulling on its neighbor in a chaotic dance while moving toward the intended goal.

Until now it was known that cells followed either soluble chemical cues, called morphogens, or physical cues like adhesion, to find their intended location. Studies of cell migration have so far focused on dissecting cell behavior to get to the molecular roots of how migration occurs. In contrast, the HSPH team worked at a higher level - studying groups of cells in a layer - to see how cells exert force upon their immediate neighbors. The question to be resolved: "how do cells migrate?"

Collective cell migration is necessary for all multicellular life. In order for cells to form into an embryo, cells must move collectively into specific areas and give rise to specific tissues. In the healing of a wound, cells must migrate collectively to the wound and fill the gap between existing tissues.

But the migration process can also be dangerous - as in cancer - when malignant cells, or clumps of cells, migrate to distant sites and invade other tissues forming new tumors. The hope is that by understanding how and why collective cellular migration occurs, we may be able to exert control and interrupt abnormal cell migration.

Jeffrey Fredberg, professor of bioengineering and physiology at HSPH, and his colleague Xavier Trepat, a researcher at IBEC, have the only laboratories now measuring the forces within and between complex cell groups. Their study appears May 22, 2011, in an advance online edition of Nature Materials.

"We're beginning for the first time to see the forces and understand how they work when cells behave in large groups," said Trepat.

The researchers invented a measurement technology called Monolayer Stress Microscopy, which allows them to visualize the minute mechanical forces exerted at the junctions where individual cells are connected. Their studies led to discovery of a new phenomenon, which they call "plithotaxis," derived from Greek "plithos" suggestive of throng, swarm or crowd.

"If you studied a cell in isolation, you'd never be able to understand the behavior of a cell in a crowd," Dhananjay Tambe, first author and research fellow at HSPH.

Groups of cells living in a single thin layer - a monolayer - were precisely measured for the forces each cell under went while navigating within the monolayer. The results surprised them.

"We thought that as cells are moving - say, to close a wound - that the underlying forces would be synchronized and smooth so as to vary coherently across the crowd, as in a minuet," said co-first author Corey Hardin, a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. "Instead, we found the forces vary tremendously, occurring in huge peaks and valleys across the monolayer. Are not smooth and orderly at all; they are more like those in a 'mosh pit'—organized chaos with pushing and pulling in all directions at once, but collectively giving rise to motion in a given direction," he said.

"This new finding has the potential to alter, in a fundamental way, our understanding of mechano-biology and its role in the basic processes that underlie the function of monolayers in health and disease," said Fredberg.

Fredberg hopes the new report will be interesting for both physicists and biologists, and spur new research collaborations between the two disciplines in order to measure even more accurately the forces at work, and perhaps create algorithms of what it observed.

Support for the study was provided by the European Research Council, the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and the National Institutes of Health.

"Collective Cell Guidance by Cooperative Intercellular Forces," Dhananjay T. Tambe, C. Corey Hardin, Thomas E. Angelini, Kavitha Rajendran, Chan Young Park, Xavier Serra-Picamal, Enhua H. Zhou, Muhammad H. Zaman, James P. Butler, David A. Weitz, Jeffrey J. Fredberg, Xavier Trepat, Nature Materials, online May 22, 2011.

Visit the HSPH website for the latest news, press releases and multimedia offerings.

Harvard School of Public Health is dedicated to advancing the public's health through learning, discovery and communication. More than 400 faculty members are engaged in teaching and training the 1,000-plus student body in a broad spectrum of disciplines crucial to the health and well being of individuals and populations around the world. Programs and projects range from the molecular biology of AIDS vaccines to the epidemiology of cancer; from risk analysis to violence prevention; from maternal and children's health to quality of care measurement; from health care management to international health and human rights. For more information on the school visit www.hsph.harvard.edu.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-05/hsop-tdo052011.php