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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

Environmental and inherited risk factors associated with multiple sclerosis – previously poorly understood and not known to be connected – converge to alter a critical cellular function linked to the chronic neurologic disease, say researchers with the UC Irvine Multiple Sclerosis Research Center.

The findings, which appear in the online, open-access journal Nature Communications, suggest that a unifying mechanism may be responsible for multiple sclerosis and point to therapies personalized according to genetic factors.

"MS results from complex interactions between an individual's genetics and his or her environment," said study leader Dr. Michael Demetriou, a UCI neurologist and associate director of the Multiple Sclerosis Research Center. "Defining how these come together to induce the disease is critical for developing a cure. We've taken a giant first step toward understanding this."

Using blood samples from about 13,000 people, Demetriou and colleagues identified the way environmental factors – including metabolism and vitamin D3, obtained through either sunlight exposure or diet – interact with four genes (interleukin-7 receptor-alpha, interleukin-2 receptor-alpha, MGAT1 and CTLA-4) to affect how specific sugars are added to proteins regulating the disease.

Earlier work on mice by Demetriou revealed that changes in the addition of these specific sugars to proteins engender a spontaneous MS-like disease. They also found that N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), a dietary supplement and simple sugar related to glucosamine, is able to suppress this process.

The current research shows that both vitamin D3 and GlcNAc can reverse the effects of four human MS genetic factors and restore the normal addition of sugars to proteins.

"This suggests that oral vitamin D3 and GlcNAc may serve as the first therapy for MS that directly targets an underlying defect promoting disease," Demetriou said.

Virtually all proteins on the surface of cells, including immune and nervous system cells, are modified with complex sugars of variable lengths and composition.

This adds information to proteins separate from that directly defined by the genome. The sugars interact with specific sugar-binding proteins on the cell, forming a molecular lattice that controls the clustering, signaling and surface expression of critical receptors and transporters, such as the T cell receptor and CTLA-4.

Reducing sugar modification weakens the lattice and enhances growth and activity of immune system T cells in such a way that they increase neural degeneration – a hallmark of MS.

Production of the complex sugars is regulated by both metabolic and enzymatic functions, the latter altered by genetic MS risk factors and vitamin D3.

Demetriou pointed out that the MGAT1 genetic variant linked to MS increases or decreases the sugars attached to proteins depending on metabolism – one possible explanation for why people with the same genetic risk factor may or may not develop MS.

These sugars have also been implicated in many other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cancer, Demetriou added, so this work could open up entirely new areas of medicine.

Haik Mkhikian, Ani Grigorian, Carey F. Li, Hung-Lin Chen, Barbara Newton, Raymond W. Zhou, Sevan Torossian, Gevork Grikor Tatarian, Sung-Uk Lee, Christine Beeton, K. George Chandy and Zhaoxia Yu of UCI and Ken Lau, Erin Walker, Katherine A. Siminovitch and James W. Dennis of the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute in Toronto participated in the study, which received support from the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, among others.

The University of California, Irvine was founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service.