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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.


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


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Multiple Channels Help Brain Avoid Traffic Jams

Brain networks may avoid traffic jams at their busiest intersections by communicating on different frequencies

"Many neurological and psychiatric conditions are likely to involve problems with signaling in brain networks," says co-author Maurizio Corbetta, MD, the Norman J. Stupp Professor of Neurology at Washington University. "Examining the temporal structure of brain activity from this perspective may be especially helpful in understanding psychiatric conditions like depression and schizophrenia, where structural markers are scarce."

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, the University Medical Center at Hamburg-Eppendorf and the University of Tübingen will publish their research May 6 in Nature Neuroscience.

Scientists usually study brain networks — areas of the brain that regularly work together — using magnetic resonance imaging, which tracks blood flow. They assume that an increase in blood flow to part of the brain indicates increased activity in the brain cells of that region.

Corbetta: "Magnetic resonance imaging is a useful tool, but it does have limitations. It only allows us to track brain cell activity indirectly, and it is unable to track activity that occurs at frequencies greater than 0.1 hertz, or once every 10 seconds. We know that some signals in the brain can cycle as high as 500 hertz, or 500 times per second."

For the new study, conducted at the University Medical Center at Hamburg-Eppendorf, the researchers used a technique called magnetoencephalography (MEG) to analyze brain activity in 43 healthy volunteers. MEG detects very small changes in magnetic fields in the brain that are caused by many cells being active at once. It can detect these signals at rates up to 100 hertz.

"We found that different brain networks ticked at different frequencies, like clocks ticking at different speeds," says lead author Joerg Hipp, PhD, of the University Medical Center at Hamburg-Eppendorf and the University of Tübingen, both in Germany.

For example, networks that included the hippocampus, a brain area critical for memory formation, tended to be active at frequencies around 5 hertz. Networks constituting areas involved in the senses and movement were active between 32 hertz and 45 hertz. Many other brain networks were active at frequencies between eight and 32 hertz.

These "time-dependent" networks resemble different airline route maps, overlapping but each ticking at a different rate.

"There have been a number of fMRI studies of depression and schizophrenia showing 'spatial' changes in the organization of brain networks," Corbettta says. "MEG studies provide a window into a much richer 'temporal' structure. In the future, this might offer new diagnostic tests or ways to monitor the efficacy of interventions in these debilitating mental conditions."

Hipp JF, Hawellek DJ, Corbetta M, Siegel M, Engel AK. Large-scale cortical correlation structure of spontaneous oscillatory activity, Nature Neuroscience,May 6, 2012.

Funding from the European Union supported this research.

Washington University School of Medicine's 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-05/wuso-mtc050412.php