Produced by Gary Drevitch
We don't spout off a lot here at FD.com about reproductive technology, but fortunately, almost everyone else does. In fact, there are two new books out that anyone with a passing interest in the subject should find useful: First, "Embryo Culture: Making Babies in the Twenty-first Century," by Beth Kohl [full disclosure: a friend of FD.com]. She's used IVF treatments to become the mother of three children, and her book is both a frank memoir of her experiences and a look inside the fertility industry. Says Publishers Weekly, one of many outlets that have rightly praised the book: "In this insightful and honest narrative, Kohl shares her experience and offers comfort and companionship for readers dealing with physical challenges, personal and marital stress, and ambivalent answers to heavy questions." And then there's "Knock Yourself Up: No Man? No Problem! A Tell-All Guide to Becoming a Single Mom," by Louise Sloan, which goes on sale next week. Unlike Kohl's book, we don't have this one in hand yet, but (full disclosure) a good friend who used IVF to have her twins told her story to the author and speaks well of the final result, which is good enough for us.
IT'S NOT YOUR FATHER'S SPERM. (ACTUALLY, IT'S YOUR GRANDFATHER'S!)
A 72-year-old British man is donating sperm to his daughter-in-law because his son's sperm is of poor quality. The senior citizen will be his grandchild's natural father, and the child will be its father's half-sibling. There have been several cases in which a grandmother acted as a surrogate for her daughter, without donating any of her own genetic material, so there's nothing wrong with the concept, per se. But the mounting evidence that old-man sperm is at much higher risk for autism, Down's syndrome and miscarriages would seem to make this a relatively dubious prospect as these things go.
ALTERNATELY, SCIENCE SUGGESTS THAT PREGNANT MOMS CONSIDER KILLING THEMSELVES
Pregnant and breast-feeding women should eat at least 12 ounces of fish and seafood per week to ensure their babies' optimal brain development, a coalition of top scientists from private groups and federal agencies plans to declare today in a public advisory that marks a major break with current U.S. health advice.
It comes down to whether the brain-boosting benefits of omega-3 fatty acids outweigh the brain-sapping risks of mercury-contaminated fish. According to this Washington Post piece, the feds have no plans to change their warnings against fish for pregnant moms, so, ladies, you're on your own, unless you're lucky enough to have a reasonable OB-GYN like NYU's Ashley Roman, who says:
"Every single day, I get questions from my patients about this, because it is such a confusing area. Personally, for me in my practice, it doesn't change what I have already been recommending, which is to have at least three servings of fish a week."
But in Stephens City, VA, a golden retriever nurses a stray kitten. "She started licking her and loving her. Within a couple of days, Honey started naturally lactating," said Kathy Martin. Honey is the dog, by the way. The kitten is Precious.
SIX FLAGS AMERICA: COME FOR THE TWO-FACED COASTER . . . STAY ON THE TWO-FACED COASTER
For the second time this season, Six Flags' Maryland park stranded riders on its Two-Faced coaster, this time for two hours.
SCIENCE PROVES IT: FREELANCE DAD IS DOING LOVING MOTHER A FAVOR WHEN HE FALLS ASLEEP ON THE COUCH EVERY NIGHT WHILE TRYING TO MAKE HIS WAY THROUGH "THE WAR" ON THE DVR
A study published in Sleep and Biological Rhythms (which is NOT the name of the new Radiohead album) shows that while men sleep better while lying beside their mates, their very presence tends to disrupt the sleep of their female partners:
The actigraphs showed that the women’s sleep was more fragmented on nights when they shared a bed, than when they slept alone. The differences weren’t huge, but they were significant.
The researchers speculated that women's fretful sleep might be caused by brain wiring differences between men and women. Women tend to be lighter sleepers because they historically have been the ones caring for infants, the researchers suggested . . . .
Psychologist Wendy Troxel isn’t surprised to see that men do better when sleeping in a shared bed. Studies have shown that men are very dependent on close relationships — contrary to popular stereotypes . . . .
October 9, 2007 | Permalink |
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