Scientists say life begins at conception with a flash of light
May 3, 2016 (LiveActionNews) — Abortion advocates often claim as a defense of abortion that no one can really, truly define the moment life begins. Without knowing that, they say, there’s no real argument against abortion. Consider, for example, Melissa Harris-Perry’s insistence that life begins “whenever you feel like it does.” Obama famously said that the question of when life begins was above his pay grade. While the science of embryology has long been settled, it’s still not good enough for abortion activists.
But a new scientific breakthrough might go a long way towards changing hearts and minds: scientists have been able to capture the moment life begins, with a bright flash of light as a new life is conceived…
Human life begins in bright flash of light as a sperm meets an egg, scientists have shown for the first time, after capturing the astonishing ‘fireworks’ on film.
An explosion of tiny sparks erupts from the egg at the exact moment of conception.
Scientists had seen the phenomenon occur in…animals but it is the first time is has been also shown to happen in humans.
The photos included were not of actual embryos being created — the scientists used a sperm enzyme to replicate the incredible moment that life begins.
Unfortunately, rather than using this discovery to defend life, scientists are using it to better discern which lives to destroy.
Researchers from Northwestern University, in Chicago, noticed that some of the eggs burn brighter than others, showing that they are more likely to produce a healthy baby.
… “This means if you can look at the zinc spark at the time of fertilization, you will know immediately which eggs are the good ones to transfer in in vitro fertilization.
“It’s a way of sorting egg quality in a way we’ve never been able to assess before. “All of biology starts at the time of fertilization, yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”
So basically, the scientists are advocating for embryos to be created in order to facilitate IVF, and then destroyed if they don’t seem to be the healthiest, strongest embryos. The ones with a dimmer glow are deemed to be weaker, perhaps because of a genetic abnormality, and so after creating their unique lives, scientists plan to destroy them. This is even though science has also just confirmed that babies with abnormalities can self-correct while still in the womb. People who are undergoing IVF are often encouraged to destroy “defective” embryos, ending the lives that were just created, without giving the embryos any chance at all to grow and develop, and certainly without placing any value on the uniqueness of each human life.
As Secular Pro-Life pointed out:
[T]he article is refreshingly clear about conception being the point where life begins. There is no obfuscation. The very first line of the article is “Human life begins in bright flash of light as a sperm meets an egg, scientists have shown for the first time, after capturing the astonishing ‘fireworks’ on film.”
Which is why the rest of the article is so incredibly disturbing.
Agreed. It’s sad that such a life-affirming discovery is being used to further the culture of death.
A great video to explain to children where babies come from!
The human body is the most complicated machine in the world. We see with it, hear with it, breathe with it, walk and run with it, and sense pleasure with it. Its bones, muscles, arteries, veins and internal organs are organized with marvelous design, and when we examine this design in detail we find even more amazing facts. Every part of the body, though each may seem to be so different from another, is made up of the same material: cells.
Learning in the Womb
: A new study extends our understanding of what children in the womb hear and retain after birth. For more on the research, visit: http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-behavior/2013/08/babies-learn-recognize-words-womb
Top 10 Mind-Blowing Images Of Human Life In The Womb – See more at: http://www.lifenews.com/2013/09/12/top-10-mind-blowing-images-of-human-life-in-the-womb/
THE CASE AGAINST ABORTION: PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT
“The case against abortion: prenatal development” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-6VLUVglG8). As I wrote in a review, “This documentary utilizes six different imaging technologies to give you unforgettable images inside the womb of the growing baby at the embryonic and fetal stages…Only 3 minutes and eleven seconds long, the video covers the waterfront –the docks, stevedores, and merchant vessels. In so doing it borrows from many of finest resources—in print and online—to create a riveting and absolutely convincing case against abortion.”
Tue Apr 02, 2013 18:55 EST. This ain’t your mother’s ultrasound. The Daily Mail reported last week on the development of next- generation …
Check this out:
Alexander Tsiaras’s “From Conception to Birth”
: This 9:38 minute video offers a new look at life in the womb: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=fKyljukBE70
10 Amazing Things That Happen to Babies Before Birth
by Kristi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 12/10/14 4:41 P
What’s more, each of these 10 things happen in the first trimester – when approximately 90% of abortions in the U.S. occur.
1) “On the first day following fertilization, the human embryo is identifiable as a specific individual human being on a molecular level.”
A South Dakota legislative task force, appointed to examine the science behind unborn life, found that “the new recombinant DNA technologies indisputably prove that the unborn child is a whole human being from the moment of fertilization, that all abortions terminate the life of a living human being, and that the unborn child is a separate human patient under the care of modern medicine.”
2) A Baby’s Heart Begins to Beat at 21 Days.
Here is a video of the baby’s heart beating at four weeks and four days, just a little over a week after it began beating.
According to The Endowment for Human Development, “[b]etween fertilization and birth, the heart beats approximately 54 million times…”
3) At 2 to 3 Weeks, a Baby’s Brain is the “First Organ to Appear.”
4) A Baby May Feel Physical Pain as Early as His Fifth Week.
After examining scientific resources and hearing medical testimony, the South Dakota Task Force found that “(the necessary pieces) for pain detection in the spinal cord exists at very early developmental stages.” Babies have also been documented moving away from unwanted or painful touch in their first few weeks of in utero life.
5) A Baby’s Kidneys are Present at Only 5 Weeks.
In fact, by eight weeks old, all of the baby’s organs are in place and only need to be fully developed.
6) A Baby’s Brainwaves Can be Measured at 6 Weeks Old.
See the brainwaves for yourself here.
7) At 6 Weeks, a Baby Will Move Away if His Mouth is Touched.
The Endowment for Human Development has a video of a six-week-old baby responding to touch here.
8) A Baby’s Ear Can Begin to be Seen Around 6 Weeks.
9) A Baby Has Fingerprints at 9-10 Weeks.
These fingerprints will be the same throughout the baby’s life. His permanent identification is already developing. Watch a video and see an unborn baby’s fingerprints here.
10) A Baby Can Suck Her Thumb and Yawn at 9 1/2 Weeks Old.
According to The Endowment for Human Development, most babies prefer their right thumb. At this age, plenty is going on. A baby’s vocal cords are forming, her bones are hardening, and her toenails and fingernails are emerging. See a video of a ten-week-old baby yawning here.
For more on prenatal development, go here.
Editor’s Note: The information here has, in large part, been studied and documented by The Endowment for Human Development (“a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health science education and public health” that has cooperated with National Geographic to put out a video about prenatal development) and The South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion.
LifeNews Note: Kristi Burton Brown is a pro-life activist in her home state of Colorado, a pro-bono attorney for Life Legal Defense Fund, and a stay-at-home mom. This column originally appeared at LiveActionNews.
Milestones of Early Life
Day 26-27: The lungs now begin to form. 10
Day 28-32: Two tiny arms make their appearance and budding legs follow two days later. 11 The beginnings of the mouth take shape. 12 The nose starts to develop. 13 The thyroid gland begins to grow. Blood flows in the baby’s veins but stays separate from the mother’s blood. The tongue now begins to form. The face now makes its first appearance. 14
Day 36: The baby’s eyes develop their first color in the retina (see photo above, right). 15
Day 40: The baby makes her first reflex movements. Touching around the mouth with a fine bristle causes her to flex her neck. 16
Day 41: The fingers begin to form, followed by the toes a few days later. 17
Day 42: The baby develops nerve connections that will lead to a sense of smell. The brain is now divided into 3 parts – one to experience emotion and understand language, one for hearing, and one for seeing. 18 Joints begin to form. 19 Mother now misses second period.
Day 44: Buds of milk teeth appear. Facial muscles develop. 20 Eyelids begin to form, protecting the developing eyes. 21 Elbows take shape. Internal organs are present, but immature. 99% of muscles are present; each with its own nerve supply. 22 Electrical activity is detectable in brain.23
Day 52: Spontaneous movement begins. The baby then develops a whole collection of moves over the next 4 weeks including hiccupping, frowning, squinting, furrowing the brow, pursing the lips, moving individual arms and legs, head turning, touching the face, breathing (without air), stretching, opening the mouth, yawning, and sucking. 24
8 Weeks: The baby is now well-proportioned, and about the size of a thumb. Every organ is present. The liver is making blood, the kidneys function, and the heart beats steadily. The skull, elbows, and knees are forming. Of the 4,500 structures in the adult body, 4,000 are already present. 25 The skeleton of the arms and legs and the spine begins to stiffen as bone cells are added. 26
9 Weeks: If prodded, the baby’s eyelids and hands close. Genitalia that were forming in the 7th week now become visible, indicating whether it’s a boy or girl. However, the doctor won’t be able to tell by ultrasound until the 12th to 20th week. Early muscular movements begin. The thyroid gland turns on. 27
10 Weeks: Fingerprints begin their 7 week long formation. The fingernails begin to develop. The eyelids now fuse together until month 7, protecting the delicate eyes. 28 The number of connections between nerves and muscles has tripled since last week. 29
11 Weeks: The baby now “practices” breathing, since she will have to breathe air immediately after birth. The baby urinates. Her stomach muscles can now contract. 30 Vocal chords and taste buds form. 31 She can make complex facial expressions and even smile. 32
12 Weeks: Fine hair begins to grow on the upper lip and chin and eyebrows. 33 The baby swallows and responds to skin stimulation. 32
13 Weeks: The face is prettier, and facial expressions may resemble the parents. The baby is active, but mom doesn’t feel anything yet. 34
15 Weeks: A wild production of nerve cells begins and continues for a month. A second surge will occur at 25 weeks. 35
4 Months: Nostrils and toenails become visible. The baby may suck her thumb, turn somersaults and has a firm grip. The ovaries of girls contain beginnings of eggs. She begins to develop sleeping habits. 32
5 Months: The testes descend in boys. Mom may feel the baby kick, turn or hiccup and may be able to identify a bulge as an elbow or head. 38 Each side of the brain has a billion nerve cells now. 36
6 Months: The baby will be able to hear by next week. 39 The child sleeps and wakes, nestling in her favorite positions to sleep, and stretches upon waking up. 40
7 Months: The eyelids begin to reopen, preparing to see the outside world.41 Eyelashes have now become well developed. 42
8 Months: Skin becomes smooth. The pupils of eye respond to light. Fingernails reach to the tip of the finger. 42 The baby is really getting cramped now.
9.5 Months: The child triggers labor and birth occurs, an average of 264-270 days after conception. 43
And not until the baby has gone through all these events on the inside can we see the new child on the outside.
Carnegie Developmental Stages, developed by Streeter and O’Rahilly, are used universally to categorize the growth of the embryo into 23 stages during the first 8 weeks of life. Carnegie Stages are based on morphology – the form and structures within of the embryo. From embryo to embryo, the days required to get to each stage can vary slightly. Also, O’Rahilly has suggested some changes in the days relating to each stage due to in vivo ultrasound studies. 43 Selected differences as reported by O’Rahilly are detailed below.
Carlson, B., Human Embryology & Developmental Biology, Toronto: Mosby Publication; 3rd edition, 2004.
Moore, K. and Persaud, T., The Developing Human, Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th Edition, Philadelphia: W.B. Sanders, 1998.
O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, F., Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd Edition, New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2001.
Tsiaras, A. and Werth, B., From Conception to Birth, a Life Unfolds, New York: Doubleday, 2002.
1. Age in this brochure is given two ways: 1) days after fertilization or days from conception given by the top red number, and 2) days from last menstrual period, or LMP for short, given by the lower red number. Doctors use “LMP” because it is hard to know just when conception occured. Here, we emphasize the age of the new life as it unfolds. Add 14 days to post-fertilization days to convert to the LMP days.
2. “Life Before Birth,” Life Magazine, Apr. 30, 1965, p. 13. 3. Moore, K. and Persaud, T., p. 37-45.
4. Moore, K. and Persaud, T., p. 42-48, 76. 5. O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, F., p. 23.
6. Mitchell, B and Sharma, R., Embryology , New York: Churchill Livingstone, Dec. 2004, p. 4. Note: Carlson and Moore concur that the neural plate, fold and groove are forming around 18-20 days. O’Rahilly puts this at 24-25 days from in vivo ultrasound results.
7. Estimates vary for when the heart begins to beat: 21-22 days, Moore, K. and Persaud, T., p. 77; at least by 23 days from transvaginal ultrasound results, O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, F., p. 183; 21-22 days, Carlson, B., p. 117; 18 days, Tanner, J. and Taylor, G. and the editors of Time-Life Books, Growth, New York: Life Science Library, 1965, p. 64 (a 40 year old source).
8. O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, F., p. 183.
9. Carlson, B., p. 292, 308. O’Rahilly, p. 456, 471 puts the appearance of the eye at about 28 days.
10. Moore, K. and Persaud, T., p 259.
11. Moore, K. and Persaud, T., p 435-437. O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, F., p. 382 place this at 30 days, Carlson,
B., p. 211 at 4 weeks.
12. O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, F., p. 235,236, Carlson, B., p. 321-323.
13. Moore, K. and Persaud, T., p. 236-242. Tsiaras, A. and Werth, B., p. 88.
14. O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, F., p. 346-348, 183, 236, 107. Tsiaras, A. and Werth, B., p. 102.
15. O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, F., p. 459.
16. O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, F., p. 429. Carlson, B., p. 267-271.
17. Moore, K. and Persaud, T., p. 437. 18. Tsiaras, A. and Werth, B., p. 102, 114, 119.
19. Moore, K. and Persaud, T., p. 408-411.
20. O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, F., p. 238. Tsiaras, A. and Werth, B., p. 102.
21. Moore, K. and Persaud, T., p. 502. O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, F., p. 238.
22. Tsiaras, A. and Werth, B., p. 140.
23. O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, F., p. 428. citing Barkowski and Bernstine, 1955.
24. Carlson, B., p. 483, 484.Tsiaras, A. and Werth, B., p. 199, 200.
25. Tsiaras, A. and Werth, B., p. 178, 183, 185. O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, F., p. 87.
26. Moore, K. and Persaud, T., p. 409-414.
27. Moore, K. and Persaud, T., p. 333, Tsiaras, A. and Werth, B., p. 203, 206. Carlson, B., p. XIV.
28. Moore, K. and Persaud, T., p. 514, 519. 29. Tsiaras, A. and Werth, B., p. 206. 30. Carlson, B., p. 482, XIV.
31. Tsiaras, A. and Werth, B., p. 210, Moore, K. and Persaud, T., p. 234.
32. Valman, H. and Pearson, J., “What the foetus feels,” British Medical Journal, January 26, 1980.
33. Moore, K. and Persaud, T., p. 517. 34. Tsiaras, A. and Werth, B., p. 219.
35. O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, F., p. 156.
36. Anand, K and Hickey P, “Pain and Its Effects in the Human Neonate and Fetus.” The New England Journal of Medicine, (1987) 317:1321-1329. Pain at 20 weeks, perhaps as early as 16 weeks.
37. Anand, K., Report to U. S. Federal Court as expert witness January 15, 2004.
38. Tsiaras, A. and Werth, B., p. 229, Carlson, B., p. XV.
39. O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, F., p. 413. 40. Tsiaras, A. and Werth, B., p. 235.
41. Carlson, B., p. 305. 42. Carlson, B., p. XV.
43. O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, p. 88-92. Birth occurs at about 38 weeks post-fertilization or 40 weeks LMP. The average from ovulation to parturition is about 264-270 days and the range about 250-285.
44. Measurements and weights from: O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, p. 491. Lengths of the baby are given in GL or Greatest Length, which excludes the limbs. GL closely follows CR or crown to rump measurements, but can also be used for very young embryos. GL is also the measurement used in ultrasonography.