Thursday, April 7, 2016

Early Fetal Abnormalities May Correct Themselves In Time

         Today in the United States, about every 4 ½ minutes a baby is born with a birth defect. This is affects 1 in every 33 babies born each year. Mothers whom have family history of genetic disorders or who are at risk of such disorders undergo chorionic villus sampling (CVS) which is carried out around 11-14 weeks of pregnancy. CVS removes and analyzes cells from the placenta, around 15-20 weeks amniocentesis can be preformed, this is when a small amount of amniotic fluid is removed and analyzed, this fluid contains cells shed by the fetus. The only downfall to getting this procedure is the 0.6% of miscarrying and once you get the results that indicate a chromosomal condition then the parents must decide whether or not to continue with the pregnancy. 

       Prof. Zernicka-Goetz’s decided to carry out this experiment with her second child at the age of 44. Zernicka-Goetz’s CVS results indicated that up to 25% of the cells in her placenta were abnormal, knowing the risk Zernicka-Goetz proceeding to continue with the pregnancy and her child was born without any disorders. Zernicka-Goetz explains that the embryo has an amazing ability to correct itself, even when half of the early stage cells are abnormal. Further research must be done in order to determine what is the exact proportion of healthy cells are required to achieve the complete repair of an embryo.

       I feel as this discovery is very beneficial to the embryonic development because it allows the opportunity for fetus to self repair itself. With the fetus being capable of fixing the abnormal cells, expecting mothers now, may not have to worry or consider abortion as a solution when there is 25% percent abnormal cells.

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