Babies seem to be the news this week:
First there is the baby that broke into a smile :
The foetus who broke into a big smile... aged only 17 weeks
By Sophie Borland
Transformed by a beaming smile, this is the tiny face of a foetus just 17 weeks old.
The scan implies that a baby can experience feelings such as happiness and pain much earlier in its development than previously thought.
It will prompt further calls from doctors and campaigners to lower the upper abortion limit from 24 weeks.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1319373/The-foetus-broke-big-smile--aged-17-weeks.html#ixzz125N1kyJV
Dr Yehudi Gordon, who runs the private Viveka gynaecology clinic in London, said: 'All the emotional centres that we will ever have during our lives are fully formed by the time we are born.
'At 17 weeks the baby could be smiling or it could be the facial muscles getting together in preparation for sucking and feeding.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1319373/The-foetus-broke-big-smile--aged-17-weeks.html#ixzz125Nb6pRx
Then we have this report:
Scientific breakthrough: Healthy baby born from frozen embryo that is TWENTY years old
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:04 AM on 11th October 2010
A baby has been born from an embryo frozen 20 years ago.
It is the longest time a fertilised egg has been stored before developing into a healthy baby, and could eventually lead to thousands of women having children in middle age.
The newborn's 42-year-old mother, who lives in the U.S., had undergone ten years of IVF but was unable to conceive.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1319283/Healthy-baby-boy-born-TWENTY-year-old-embryo.html#ixzz125NjV000
Only two embryos survived the thawing process and they were planted in the woman's womb. One survived, and the pregnancy went full term.
The woman's doctor Sergio Oehninger, director of the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine at the Eastern Virginia medical school, said: 'She has been going through treatment for a long time.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1319283/Healthy-baby-boy-born-TWENTY-year-old-embryo.html#ixzz125NyDhQv
But if these embryos are "babies" - then how can you just throw them away after five years or use them in research as in this article:
Patient with spinal cord injury becomes first to receive human embryonic stem cells in landmark U.S. trial
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:07 PM on 11th October 2010
Doctors have begun treating the first patient in the U.S. to receive human embryonic stem cells in a landmark clinical trial.
Details of the trial are being kept confidential as it is likely to reignite the ethical debate on the use of embryos.
Geron Corp GERN.O has the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration licence to use the controversial cells to treat people, in this case patients with new spinal cord injuries.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1319627/U-S-doctors-treating-patient-receive-embryonic-stems-cells-landmark-clinical-trial.html#ixzz125OGtmV7
There has been plenty of research done on using less controversial therapy with adult stem cells.
As this site reports:
In November of 1998, scientists reported that they had successfully isolated and cultured human embryonic stem cells—a feat which had eluded researchers for almost two decades. This announcement kicked off an intense and unrelenting debate between those who approve of embryonic stem cell research and those who are opposed to it. Some of the most prominent advocates of the research are scientists and patients who believe that embryonic stem cell research will lead to the development of treatments and cures for some of humanity’s most pernicious afflictions (such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and diabetes). Among the most vocal opponents of the research are those who share the desire to heal, but who object to the pursuit of healing via unethical means. CBHD’s view is that because human embryonic stem cell research necessitates the destruction of human embryos, such research is unethical—regardless of its alleged benefits. Ethical alternatives for achieving those benefits should be actively pursued.
Read more here: http://www.cbhd.org/stem-cell-research/overview