The overall goal of the Virtual Human Embryo (VHE) project is to increase understanding of human embryology and to encourage study of human embryonic development by providing students and researchers with reliable resources for human embryo morphology. The VHE project has several components.
The Digitally Reproduced Embryonic Morphology (DREM) project was a collaboration between Prof. Ray Gasser at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, and The Human Developmental Anatomy Center (HDAC) based at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington DC. With funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) the DREM project has produced 27 image databases of labeled serial sections from representative human embryos at each of the 23 Carnegie stages..
The HEIRLOOM Collection (Human Embryo Imaging and Reconstruction, Library Of Online Media) was set up with funding from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to provide greater access to the DREM databases. NLM provided funding to set up this website and to produce additional 3D-reconstructions and animations that are included on the DREM disks.
[UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Please continue to use the original HEIRLOOM website until our upgrades are complete]
Starting in 2011, The Endowment for Human Development (EHD) will also host the VHE databases. They have put a tremendous amount of work into making the project accessible to everyone including a comprehensive cataloging of all the terms used to label the embryos. Please visit their website to browse through the complete VHE atlas of human embryology.