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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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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.
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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
Google Search artcles published since 2007
 
April 15, 2011--------News Archive

TET1 Crucial to Fetal Development and Cancer
TET1 ensures normal fetal development and is crucial when certain genes need to turn on or off during cell division.

Aging Eggs Key to Miscarriage and Birth Defects
By the time a woman is in her 40s, about half her eggs are probably chromosomally abnormal; for women in their 20s, it's probably about 10 percent.


April 14, 2011--------News Archive

Female Body Basis for Medical Autopsy/Dissection
The female body is at the heart of the development of autopsy and dissection beginning with medical practices from the middle ages.

A Measure of Cell Health - The Length of Telomeres
UCSF scientists report studies showing psychological stress leads to shorter telomeres – the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes. The findings also suggest that exercise may prevent this damage.


April 13, 2011--------News Archive

Air Polution Prenatally Linked to Behavior Problems
Mothers' exposure during pregnancy to pollutants may lead to behavioral problems in their children.

Stress In Pregnancy May Create Obesity in Child
Increasing evidence supports that pregnancies that are physically or psychologically stressed are at higher risk of producing obese offspring.


April 12, 2011--------News Archive

Umbilical Cord Stem Cells Studied for Lupus Therapy
Human umbilical cord blood stem cells found to benefit the treatment of lupus nephritis in mice with systemic lupus erythematosus.

Dopamine Controls Formation of New Brain Cells
The neurotransmitter dopamine acts as a handbreak turning off the production of stem cells forming new neurons in the adult brain.


April 11, 2011--------News Archive

Untangling The Complexity Of The Brain
There are an estimated one hundred billion nerve cells in the brain. Now scientists are moving closer to building a model of these connections and their functions.

New Treatment for Rare Recurrent Fever in Kids
A rare syndrome called periodic fever associated with aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis and cervical adenitis — or PFAPA — is diagnosed using tools from the Human Genome Project.


WHO Child Growth Charts

A study of the salamander brain has led researchers at Karolinska Institutet to discover an unknown function of dopamine, a neurotransmitter. In an article published in the prestigious scientific journal Cell Stem Cell, they show how it acts as a kind of switch for stem cells, controlling the formation of

new neurons in the adult brain. Their findings may one day contribute to new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's.

The study was conducted using salamanders which unlike mammals recover fully from a Parkinson's-like condition within a four week period.

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disease characterised by the death of dopamine-producing cells in the mid-brain. As the salamander re-builds all lost dopamine-producing neurons, the researchers examined how the salamnder brain detects the absence of these cells. This question is a fundamental one since it has not been known what causes the new formation of nerve cells and why the process ceases when the correct number have been made.

What they found out was that the salamander's stem cells are activated when the dopamine concentration drops as a result of the death of dopamine-producing neurons, meaning that dopamine acts as a constant handbrake on stem cell activity.

"The medicine often given to Parkinson's patients is L-dopa, which is converted into dopamine in the brain," says Dr Andras Simon, who led the study at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology. "When the salamanders were treated with L-dopa, the production of new dopamine-producing neurons was almost completely inhibited and the animals were unable to recover. However, the converse also applies. If dopamine signalling is blocked, new neurons are born unnecessarily."

As in mammals, the formation of neurons in the salamander mid-brain is virtually non-existent under normal circumstances. Therefore by studying the salamander, scientists can understand how the production of new nerve cells can be resumed once it has stopped, and how it can be stopped when no more neurons are needed. It is precisely in this regulation that dopamine seems to play a vital part.

Many observations suggest that similar mechanisms are active in other animals too. Comparative studies can shed light on how neurotransmitters control stem cells in the brain, knowledge that is of potential use in the development of therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.

"One way of trying to repair the brain in the future is to stimulate the stem cells that exist there," says Dr Simon. "This is one of the perspectives from which our study is interesting and further work ought to be done on whether L-dopa, which is currently used in the treatment of Parkinson's, could prevent such a process in other species, including humans. Another perspective is how medicines that block dopamine signalling and that are used for other diseases, such as psychoses, affect stem cell dynamics in the brain."

The salamander is a tailed member of the frog family famous for its ability to regenerate entire limbs.

Publication:
Daniel A Berg, Matthew Kirkham, Heng Wang, Jonas Frisén & Andras Simon
Dopamine Controls Neurogenesis in the Adult Salamander Midbrain in Homeostasis and during Regeneration of Dopamine Neurons
Cell Stem Cell, online 7 April 2011