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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
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June 3, 2011--------News Archive

Rett Syndrome May be Treatable In Near Future
Rett has been considered a neurodevelopmental disorder, as symptoms appear in early childhood. However, these same symptoms appear after removal of Mecp2 in adult mice, suggesting it is critical to all normal brain functioning.

Color Red Increases Speed and Strength of Reactions
When humans see red, their reactions become both faster and more forceful. And people are unaware of the color's intensifying effect.


June 2, 2011--------News Archive

Coffee Tied To Lower Prostate Cancer Risk
Regular coffee drinkers appear to have a lower risk of developing a lethal form of prostate cancer, evident in men who drank regular or decaffeinated coffee.

Mom's Placental Size Predicts Son's Heart Disease
Researchers investigating the foetal origins of chronic disease have discovered that combinations of a mother's body size and the shape and size of her baby's placenta can predict heart disease in men in later life.


June 1, 2011--------News Archive

Linking Environment and Genetics Triggering MS
Evironmental and inherited risk factors associated with multiple sclerosis converge to alter a critical cell function linked to the chronic neurologic disease.

Kids Who Bully Have Sleep Problems
Urban schoolchildren with behaviors like bullying more likely to have sleep- disordered breathing or daytime sleepiness.

Infrared Device Can Diagnose Bladder Dysfunction
A cell phone-sized, wireless near-infrared device is as reliable as the current “gold standard” invasive tests in determining bladder disease.


May 31, 2011--------News Archive

Why Does Flu Trigger Asthma?
Study suggests new therapeutic targets for virally-induced asthma attacks.

Healthy Kids For Women with Mitochondrial Disease
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) can give women at risk of passing on a mitochondrial DNA disorder to their offspring, a good chance of being able to give birth to an unaffected child.


May 30, 2011--------News Archive

Link Between Estrogen And Blood Pressure Found
Researchers have found that long-term estrogen exposure generates excessive levels of the compound superoxide, which causes stress in the body.

Key Molecule for Stem Cell Pluripotency Discovered
Researchers have discovered what enables embryonic stem cells to differentiate into diverse cell types and thus to be pluripotent.

WHO Child Growth Charts

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) can give women at risk of passing on a mitochondrial DNA disorder to their offspring a good chance of being able to give birth to an unaffected child, a researcher told the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics.

Dr. Debby Hellebrekers, from Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands, feels that the scientists' findings could have a considerable effect on preventing the transmission of mitochondrial diseases.

Mitochondria are cellular organelles involved in the conversion of the energy of food molecules into the ATP molecule - the molecule that powers most cell function. Disruptions in this process, due to a defect in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) or genes in the nucleus, can cause disorders which represent the most common group of inborn errors of metabolism.

Manifestation of mtDNA disorders are varied, but the diseases are almost always serious and if they do not lead to death, can result in life-long serious disabilities. Symptoms of mtDNA disorders include loss of muscle co-ordination, visual and hearing problems, poor growth, mental retardation, heart, liver and kidney disease, neurological problems, respiratory disorders and dementia.

Prenatal diagnosis is generally not possible for mtDNA disorders, because clinical signs cannot be reliably predicted from the amount of mutated mtDNA molecules taken in a sample from the chorionic villus. So, the team of scientists from The Netherlands, Australia, and the UK decided to look at whether PGD would be a better alternative.

"If we could find a minimal level of mtDNA mutation load below which the chance for an embryo of being affected was acceptably low", said Dr. Hellebrekers, "we could offer PGD to women who otherwise had little chance of giving birth to a healthy child."

The researchers studied data on 159 different disease-causing mtDNA mutations derived from 327 unrelated patients or families. They combined data on muscle mutant levels and were able to predict with a 95% or greater chance that being unaffected was linked to a mtDNA mutant level of 18% or less.

Mitochondria have their own DNA, which is strictly inherited from the mother. Normal and mutant DNA co-exist in most disease-causing mtDNA, and there is a threshold of mutant mtDNA which must be exceeded before clinical symptoms occur.

The mtDNA mutation level inherited by offspring of a female carrier can vary greatly. Even in twin births, it is possible for one baby to receive considerably more of the mutant mtDNA molecules than the other.

"Being able to find the minimal level of mutant mtDNA below which the chances of passing on a disorder is low - is therefore very important", said Dr. Hellebrekers. Currently, there are no effective treatments for mtDNA disorders. Although we cannot guarantee that a mutant mtDNA level of 18% or lower will result in the birth of an unaffected child, we think that the chances of having a healthy child are high enough to make using PGD in this instance morally acceptable.

"Our research enables us to give genetic counselling to women at risk with respect to their reproductive choices and to provide them, for the first time, with the opportunity to give birth to a healthy baby. The prevalence of mtDNA disorders is 1 in 5,000, which means that the families of about 146,000 patients in Europe can now have the option of having a healthy child. This is a choice that they do not currently have", she concluded.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-05/esoh-pcp052711.php