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

July 4, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts


In this rendering, a DNA molecule is methylated on both strands at the center cytosine.

DNA methylation plays an important role in epigenetic gene regulation,
and is involved in both normal development and in cancer.

Credit: UC San Diego School of Medicine

WHO Child Growth Charts

       

Epigenetics Alters Genes in Rheumatoid Arthritis

It's not just our DNA that makes us susceptible to disease and influences fetal growth

Scientists are beginning to realize more and more that important changes in genes can be unrelated to changes in the DNA sequence itself – a field of study known as epigenetics – but are just as influential.

A research team at the University of California, San Diego, found that epigenetic changes due to methylation play a key role in altering genes that could potentially contribute specifically to inflammation and joint damage, but also potentially influence cancer and fetal development.

Their study is currently published in the online edition of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

The researchers, led by Gary S. Firestein, professor in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology at UC San Diego School of Medicine – investigated a mechanism - usually implicated in cancer and in fetal development - called DNA methylation, as contributing to the progression of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Firestein: "Genomics has rapidly advanced our understanding of susceptibility and severity of rheumatoid arthritis. While many genetic associations have been described in this disease, we also know that if one identical twin develops RA that the other twin only has a 12 to 15 percent chance of also getting the disease. This suggests that other factors are at play – epigenetic influences."


DNA methylation is one example of epigenetic change.
A strand of DNA is modified after it is duplicated
through the addition of a methyl to any cytosine molecule
or (C) – one of the 4 main bases of DNA.

This is one of the methods used to regulate gene expression, and is often abnormal in cancers and
plays a role in organ development.


While DNA methylation of individual genes has been explored in autoimmune diseases, this study represents a genome-wide evaluation of the process in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS), cells that interact with the immune cells in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and damages cartilage, bone, and soft tissues of the joint.

In this study, scientists isolated and evaluated genomic DNA from 28 cell lines. They looked at DNA methylation patterns in RA FLS and compared them with FLS derived from normal individuals or patients with non-inflammatory joint disease.


The data showed that the fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS)
cells in rhuematoid arthritis display a DNA methyl
signature distinguishing them from
osteoarthritis and normal FLS cells.

These FLS cells possess methylated genes critical to the extracellular matrix which regulates cell survival, cell proliferation, cell differentiation, and cell migration.


"We found that hypomethylation of individual genes was associated with increased gene expression and occurred in multiple pathways critical to inflammatory response." Gary S. Firestein, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, UC San Diego School of Medicine

This led to the researchers conclusion: Methylated genes can alter FLS genes and contribute to the pathology of rhuematoid arthritis.

Additional contributors include Kazuhisa Nakano and David L. Boyle, UCSD Department of Medicine; and John W. Whitaker and Wei Wang, UCSD Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

This project was supported by grant number UL1RR031980 from the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Science.

NexDx, Inc. licensed the technology from UC San Diego and provided informatics support for this study. Gary S. Firestein and Wei Wang are on the Scientific Advisory Board of NexDx, Inc.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-07/uoc--eag070312.php