Welcome to The Visible Embryo

Home- - -History-- -Bibliography- -Pregnancy Timeline- --Prescription Drugs in Pregnancy- -- Pregnancy Calculator- --Female Reproductive System- News Alerts -Contact

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!



Home

History

Bibliography

Pregnancy Timeline

Prescription Drug Effects on Pregnancy

Pregnancy Calculator

Female Reproductive System

Contact The Visible Embryo

News Alerts Archive

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.
Content protected under a Creative Commons License.

No dirivative works may be made or used for commercial purposes.

Return To Top Of Page
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
Click weeks 0 - 40 and follow fetal growth
Search artcles published since 2007

May 14, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts


The fruit fly has similar genes performing some of the same functions as humans.

WHO Child Growth Charts

What Is Your BMI?

       

Insect Glands Help Illuminate Human Fertilization

Secretions from glands in the reproductive tract of fruit flys help sperm survive and guide the sperm on the trip to fertilize an egg, and may provide potential clues to similar human reproductive glands

New research from Carnegie scientists focuses on secretions from glands in the reproductive tract of fruit flies that help sperm survive and guide the sperm on the trip to fertilize an egg. The gene that controls the development of these glands may provides important information about gland development in all insects, as well as potential clues to similar human reproductive glands.

Their work is published this month in Current Biology.

When a female fruit fly receives sperm from a male fruit fly, lubricating secretions in her reproductive tract activate the sperm, store it and guide it to fertilization. Without the aid of these secretions, sperm would not make it to the eggs. Carnegie's Allan Spradling and Jianjun Sun demonstrated that the gene in charge of regulating the development of fruit fly secretion glands is called Hr39. It encodes a steroid receptor protein.

Mutant fruit flies that lack this gene have no such glands formed in the reproductive tract and are infertile. However, their formation could be partially restored with the expression of a mouse gene that encodes an analogous steroid receptor in mammals called Lrh-1. Mutant mice that lack this gene are also infertile.

The work demonstrates that even though it has been millions of years since there was a common ancestor that links fruit flies to mice—and, more generally, insects to mammals—these similar genes are still in charge of at least some of the same functions.

Secretions from reproductive glands in mammals are thought to assist sperm in undergoing similar changes to facilitate fertilization. But studying this process has proved difficult. Knowing that the functions of Hr39 in fruit flies and Lrh-1 in mammals are similar in this regard will facilitate research.

"The fruit fly work in our paper provides a method for studying the cellular physiology governing this reproductive secretion process more quickly, cheaply and effectively than we had previously thought possible," Spradling said.

Spradling and Sun are funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The Carnegie Institution for Science (carnegiescience.edu) is a private, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., with six research departments throughout the U.S. Since its founding in 1902, the Carnegie Institution has been a pioneering force in basic scientific research. Carnegie scientists are leaders in plant biology, developmental biology, astronomy, materials science, global ecology, and Earth and planetary science.

Original article: http://carnegiescience.edu/news/insect_glands_may_illuminate
_human_fertilization_process