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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 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
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August 30, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts


DNA methylation doesn't change a cell's underlying genetic information,
but it does affect gene activity and can have a profound impact on
processes such as aging and the development of disease.

WHO Child Growth Charts

       

Why Humans are More Susceptible to Cancer and other Diseases

Chimpanzees rarely get cancer, or a variety of other diseases that commonly arise in humans, but their genomic DNA sequence is nearly identical to ours. So, what's their secret?

Researchers reporting in the September issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, a Cell Press journal, have found that differences in certain DNA modifications, called methylation, might play a role.


Researchers discovered hundreds of genes
that display different patterns of methylation
between the two species.

These different patterns of methylation
lead to different levels of expression,
and many of the genes involved are linked
to specific human diseases.


Given that environmental factors can affect DNA methylation, these results might help researchers to better understand how differences in genetics and environmental exposure contribute to differences, including different disease vulnerabilities, between the two species.

DNA methylation doesn't change a cell's underlying genetic information, but it does affect gene activity and can have a profound impact on processes such as aging and the development of disease. By using new state-of-the-art techniques to look at methylation maps and gene expression in the brains of chimpanzees and humans, the investigators found that changes in DNA methylation at least partially explain the divergence of gene-expression patterns between these species.


In addition, differentially methylated genes
showed striking links with specific neurological and
psychological disorders and cancers to which
modern humans are particularly susceptible,
suggesting that changes in DNA methylation
might be linked to the evolution of humans'
vulnerability to certain diseases.


Dr. Soojin Yi, Georgia Institute of Technology: "Our results hint, but by no means provide proof, that epigenetic divergence—or changes of chemical properties of DNA—may be particularly important for some disease-related phenotypes that are pertinent to modern humans. Such findings, in the long-term, may contribute to the development of better therapeutic targets for some human diseases."

Zeng et al.: "Divergent Whole-Genome Methylation Maps of Human and Chimpanzee Brains Reveal Epigenetic Basis of Human Regulatory Evolution."