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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

Rett Syndrome strikes little girls almost exclusively, with first symptoms usually appearing before the age of 18 months.

Children lose speech, motor control and functional hand use, and many suffer with seizures, orthopedic and severe digestive problems, breathing and other autonomic impairments. Most live into adulthood, and require total, round-the-clock care.

It is known that mutations in a protein identified as MeCP2 cause the autism spectrum disorder known as Rett Syndrome, with the same symptoms having been seen in some cases of classic autism, childhood schizophrenia and milder neuropsychiatric conditions such as anxiety and learning disabilities.

In a paper published June 2, 2011 in Science, evidence is provided that MeCP2 is required throughout life to maintain healthy brain function. The findings were reported from the lab of Huda Zoghbi of the Baylor College of Medicine, HHMI investigator, and Director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute.

Joshua Sanes, Director of the Center for Brain Science at Harvard and Professor in Harvard's Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, commented on the impact of Zoghbi's findings:

"This work not only sheds new light on the pathogenesis of Rett Syndrome, but also raises fascinating questions about a central dogma in neuroscience - that genes affecting the brain act differently during the "critical period" than they do in adulthood. In at least some instances, Zoghbi's result tells us, this may not be the case." Sanes was not involved in this work.

Using sophisticated genetic engineering tools, Christopher McGraw, an MD/PhD student in Zoghbi's lab, stopped production of the Mecp2 protein in mature adult mice at 9 weeks of age. By 19 weeks the animals began displaying symptoms reminiscent of classic Rett Syndrome mice which are missing Mecp2 protein from conception: impaired gait and locomotion, hind-limb clasping, motor abnormalities, impaired learning and memory.

Death took place approximately 13 weeks after removing MeCP2.

Rett Syndrome has been considered a neurodevelopmental disorder, due to the onset of symptoms in early childhood. The appearance of these same symptoms after removal of Mecp2 in adult mice suggests that there may be no discrete time period during which MeCP2 is critical for normal development - but that it is needed throughout all of life for normal brain function.

The findings are valuable from a clinical perspective as they suggest certain potential treatments for the disorder - such as small molecule drugs - which may need to be maintained throughout the lifetime of individuals afflicted with Rett Syndrome.

"Given the parallels between autism and Rett Syndrome with regard to age of onset of symptoms and clinical features, these findings raise the possibility that several autism spectrum disorders might indeed result from failure of maintaining neuronal function rather than alterations of key developmental programs," says Zoghbi.

Monica Coenraads, Executive Director of the Rett Syndrome Research Trust which helped fund this work, and mother of a teenaged daughter with Rett Syndrome, says "Although Rett is a relatively rare disorder, it provides opportunity for broader neurological insights. Huda Zoghbi's new work challenges some central tenets in neuroscience. It is gratifying to see that Rett research is teaching us important lessons about the brain."

The Rett Syndrome Research Trust is the premier organization devoted exclusively to promoting international research on Rett Syndrome and related MECP2 disorders. The goal is clear: to heal children and adults who will otherwise suffer from this disorder for the rest of their lives. With experience and tight focus, RSRT has an unparalleled knowledge base and extensive networking abilities in the world of high level research. RSRT is in a unique position to stimulate, evaluate, support and monitor ambitious and novel scientific projects. www.reverserett.org

Baylor College of Medicine (www.bcm.edu) in Houston is recognized as a premier academic health science center and is known for excellence in education, research and patient care. It is the only private medical school in the greater southwest and is ranked as one of the top 25 medical schools for research in U.S. News & World Report. BCM is listed 13th among all U.S. medical schools for National Institutes of Health funding, and No. 2 in the nation in federal funding for research and development in the biological sciences at universities and colleges by the National Science Foundation. Original article: http://www.rsrt.org/rttwatch/2011/06-02.html