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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
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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

A cell phone-sized, wireless near-infrared device is as reliable as the current “gold standard” invasive tests in determining bladder disease, according to a study by researchers at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver Coastal Health and the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI).

The new physiologic information gathered through near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) could also advance treatment that tackles the root causes of urinary incontinence, says the research team.

Published in the current issue of the International Journal of Spectroscopy, the study is the first to use NIRS to investigate bladder disease in children.

In this study of 37 healthy and symptomatic adults and children, a wireless NIRS device is placed on the skin over the bladder and held in place by a strap. Software measures the differences in the amount of light shone through the skin to – and returning from – the bladder wall. The data provides researchers with a measure of changing hemoglobin concentration and the levels of oxygen and volume in the blood.

The research team found consistent patterns of normal oxygen availability and blood supply in the bladder muscle of healthy subjects during urination. Meanwhile, the patterns in children with symptoms due to voiding problems were quite different and matched patterns seen when blood flow or oxygen supply is inadequate for normal muscle function.

“Currently, diagnosing bladder dysfunction usually requires an invasive test that involves urethral and rectal catheter insertion to measure bladder pressure and urine output – a stressful and painful procedure that provides a limited amount of physiologic information,” says lead author Dr. Andrew Macnab, a pediatrics and urology professor at UBC and Head of the NIRS study group at the Bladder Care Centre at UBC Hospital.

“Our study shows that near-infrared spectroscopy – a non-toxic and non-invasive method using light shone through the skin to monitor the microcirculation of the bladder – can detect changes in bladder physiology that are proving characteristic for specific causes of voiding dysfunction” says Macnab, a senior scientist at CFRI.

A previous study led by Macnab demonstrated the accuracy of non-invasive NIRS in diagnosing men with difficulty passing urine due to possible prostatic enlargement compared to current invasive tests. Inclusion of children in the latest study further validates the merits of extending NIRS monitoring to children.

“Both adults and children like the device, and patients can be in a room remote from the researcher when they pass urine for the test, as the device can either store the data or transmit the results wirelessly to a computer in the next room. NIRS definitely constitutes a disruptive technology in the field of urology,” says co-author Dr. Lynn Stothers, a urology professor at UBC and director of research at the Bladder Care Centre at UBC Hospital.

“We found it particularly useful in studies involving children; its small size and ease of application generated no anxiety, didn’t limit the participants’ movement or their ability to empty their bladder; and NIRS definitely constitutes a disruptive technology in the field of urology,” says co-author Dr. Kourosh Afshar, an urologist at BC Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor at UBC.

Urinary incontinence is a stigmatized and under-treated condition and often erroneously regarded as a “normal” part of early childhood and aging or a symptom of many other diseases.

One third of men and women aged 30-70 experience loss of bladder control that negatively impacts their quality of life over one million patients seek physician consults for this every year in the U.S. alone. It also affects 53 per cent of all long-term-care residents, 25 per cent of middle-aged women and 15 per cent of all men 60 years and older.

“Current treatment options for incontinence focus on managing symptoms because little is known about the physiology of voiding dysfunction,” says Macnab. “NIRS could help us determine whether blood flow in the bladder muscle is a root cause of incontinence and in turn develop new therapeutics to cure these conditions.”

NIRS was originally used by a team of UBC and B.C. Children’s Hospital scientists led by Macnab to develop a new way to monitor the adequacy of oxygen delivery to the brain during heart bypass surgery. A device capable of monitoring changes in oxygenation and blood flow in the bladder muscle was later developed and patented through UBC’s Industry Liaison Office.

The team’s most recent study using spectroscopy won the prize for best research in female urology at the recent American Urological Association annual meeting. Macnab says the research team is currently exploring the use of wireless NIRS to investigate bladder function in patients with spinal cord injury, and long-term monitoring as a way to improve the quality of life in patients with urinary incontinence due to a range of problems.

The study and a photo showing the placement of the NIRS device are available here.

Original article: http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/2011/05/30/non-invasive-wireless-near-infrared-device-provides-reliable-diagnosis-of-bladder-dysfunction-ubc-vch-cfri-study/