Sunday, July 24, 2011

⅏Did You Know: Louise Joy Brown - The First Test-Tube Baby

Did You Know...

On July 25, 1978, Louise Joy Brown, the world's first baby to be conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF) was born at Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England, to parents Lesley and Peter Brown? The healthy baby was delivered shortly before midnight by caesarean section and weighed in at five pounds, 12 ounces.
Before giving birth to Louise, Lesley Brown had suffered years of infertility due to blocked fallopian tubes. In November 1977, she underwent the then-experimental IVF procedure. A mature egg was removed from one of her ovaries and combined in a laboratory dish with her husband’s sperm to form an embryo. The embryo then was implanted into her uterus a few days later. Her IVF doctors, British gynecologist Patrick Steptoe and scientist Robert Edwards, had begun their pioneering collaboration a decade earlier. Once the media learned of the pregnancy, the Browns faced intense public scrutiny.  Louise’s birth made headlines around the world and raised various legal and ethical questions:
Was this baby was going to be healthy?   Had being outside the womb, even for just a couple of days, harmed the egg? If the baby has medical problems, did the parents and doctors have a right to play with nature and thus bring it into the world?
  • When does life begin? If human life begins at conception, are doctors killing potential humans when they discard fertilized eggs? (Doctors may remove several eggs from the woman and may discard some that have been fertilized.) 
The process had been a success!  Though some wondered if the success had been more luck than science, continued success with the process proved that Dr. Steptoe and Dr. Edwards had accomplished the first of many "test-tube" babies.

The Browns had a second daughter, Natalie, several years later, also through IVF.

First Test-tube Mother!
In another medical first, Louise's younger sister, Natalie, 27, was the first test-tube baby to have a child of her own in May 1999. Her daughter Casey is now 12, and her son Christopher is ten. Casey made medical history by ending fears that girls born through IVF treatment would not be able to have healthy children.

In December 2006, Louise Brown, the original "test tube baby," gave birth to a boy, Cameron John Mullinder, who also was conceived naturally.

She admits they lead an unremarkable life, yet because of the remarkable nature of her conception Louise will always be a part of the public consciousness. The world has followed her through every milestone of her life, from her first birthday through to her 21st, from her marriage to the birth of her first child. Cameron Joe Mullinder was due on January 2 but was actually born at 12.23pm on December 20 it was a particularly poignant moment. Interestingly when Louise went into labor at the hospital, the nursing staff were unaware of the significance of this experience. But the surgeon who administered the Cesarean section noticed her. She explains that when she had Cameron the surgeon who turned out to be an IVF specialist acknowledged the momentous nature of this incident. He came in the morning of the operation and expressed his excitement to Louise saying, "I can't believe that I'm now helping you deliver your own baby."

Today, IVF is considered a mainstream medical treatment for infertility. Hundreds of thousands of children around the world have been conceived through the procedure, in some cases with donor eggs and sperm.


Did You Know for the month of

back in....

July 25, 1917, Mata Hari was Sentenced to Death.  On this day, in Paris, France, the exotic dancer Mata Hari was sentenced to death by a French court for spying on Germany's behalf during World War I

Since 1903, Margueretha Gertruida Zelle, (07/08/1876 - 15/10/1917), born in a small town in northern Holland, Netherlands and formerly married to a captain in the Dutch army, had performed in Paris as a dancer.  Her exotic dances soon earned her fans all over Europe, where she packed dance halls from Moscow to Berlin to Madrid, largely because of her willingness to dance almost entirely naked in public.

Promiscuous, flirtatious, and openly flaunting her body, she captivated her audiences and was an overnight success from the debut of her act at the Musée Guimet on 13 March 1905. She became the long-time mistress of the millionaire Lyon industrialist Emile Etienne Guimet, who had founded the Musée. She posed as a Java princess of priestly Hindu birth, pretending to have been immersed in the art of sacred Indian dance since childhood. She was photographed numerous times during this period, nude or nearly so.

Mata Hari in 1906, wearing only a bra and jewelry
She brought this carefree provocative style to the stage in her act, which garnered wide acclaim. The most celebrated segment of her act was her progressive shedding of clothing until she wore just a jeweled bra and some ornaments upon her arms and head. She was seldom seen without a bra as she was self-conscious about being small-breasted. Pictures taken during her performances suggest she may have worn a bodystocking for her shows, as navel and genitals are not seen even in poses where they should be visible on a nude person.

Mata Hari was also a successful courtesan, though she was known more for her sensuality and eroticism rather than for striking classical beauty. She had relationships with high-ranking military officers, politicians, and others in influential positions in many countries, including Frederick William Victor Augustus Ernest, the German crown prince, who paid for her luxurious lifestyle.
Her relationships and liaisons with powerful men frequently took her across international borders. Prior to World War I, she was generally viewed as an artist and a free-spirited bohemian, but as war approached, she began to be seen by some as a wanton and promiscuous woman, and perhaps a dangerous seductress.

Double Agent
During World War I, the Netherlands remained neutral. As a Dutch subject, Margaretha Zelle was thus able to cross national borders freely. To avoid the battlefields, she travelled between France and the Netherlands via Spain and Britain, and her movements inevitably attracted attention. In 1916 she was travelling by steamer from Spain when her ship called at the English port of Falmouth. There she was arrested and brought to London where she was interrogated at length by Sir Basil Thomson, Assistant Commissioner at New Scotland Yard in charge of counter-espionage. He gave an account of this in his 1922 book Queer People, saying that she eventually admitted to working for French Intelligence.

It is unclear if she lied on this occasion, believing the story made her sound more intriguing, or if French authorities were using her in such a way, but would not acknowledge her due to the embarrassment and international backlash it could cause.
In January 1917, the German military attaché in Madrid transmitted radio messages to Berlin describing the helpful activities of a German spy, code-named H-21. French intelligence agents intercepted the messages and, from the information they contained, identified H-21 as Mata Hari. Unusually, the messages were in a code that German intelligence knew had already been broken by the French, leaving some historians to suspect that the messages were contrived.

On 13 February 1917, Mata Hari was arrested in her room at the Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris. She was put on trial, accused of spying for Germany and consequently causing the deaths of at least 50,000 soldiers. Although the French and British intelligence suspected her of spying for Germany, neither could produce definite evidence against her. Secret ink was found in her room, which was incriminating evidence in that period. She contended that it was part of her make-up. She wrote several letters to the Dutch Consul in Paris, claiming her innocence. "My international connections are due of my work as a dancer, nothing else [...]. Because I really did not spy, it is terrible that I cannot defend myself." She was found guilty and was executed by firing squad on 15 October 1917, at the age of 41.

July 31, 1917, Third Battle of Ypres Began in Flanders.  On July 31, 1917, the Allies launch a renewed assault on German lines in the Flanders region of Belgium, in the much-contested region near Ypres, during World War I. The attack begins more than three months of brutal fighting, known as the Third Battle of Ypres.

July 24, 1915, The Steamer Eastland Overturned in the Chicago River, drowning between 800 and 850 of its passengers who were heading to a picnic. The disaster was caused by serious problems with the boat's design, which were known but never remedied.On July 24, employees of Western Electric Company were heading to an annual picnic. Much of the crowd—perhaps even more than the 2,500 people allowed—boarded the Eastland.
Some reports indicate that the crowd may also have all gathered on one side of the boat to pose for a photographer, thus creating an imbalance on the boat. In any case, engineer Joseph Erikson opened one of the ballast tanks, which holds water within the boat and stabilizes the ship, and the Eastland began tipping precariously.
The Eastland capsized right next to the dock, trapping hundreds of people on or underneath the large ship. Rescuers quickly attempted to cut through the hull with torches, allowing them to pull out 40 people alive. More than 800 others perished.
Most of the corpses were taken to the Second Regiment Armory, which is now home to Harpo Studios and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Some of the show's employees have claimed that the studio is haunted by ghosts of the Eastland disaster

July 31, 1975, Jimmy Hoffa Vanished.  Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa is reported missing in Detroit, Michigan. He was last seen alive in a parking lot outside the Machus Red Fox restaurant the previous afternoon. To this day, Hoffa's fate remains a mystery, although many believe that he was murdered by organized crime figures.
July 24, 1998, South Korea's Government Opened the Bidding for the Kia Motors Corporation, the country's third-largest car company, which went bankrupt during an economic crisis that gripped much of Asia.
Founded on the outskirts of Seoul in 1944, Kia began as a small manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts. The name of the company was derived from the Chinese characters "ki" (meaning "to arise" or "to come out of") and "a" (which stood for Asia). By the late 1950s, Kia had branched out from bicycles to motor scooters, and in the early 1970s the company launched into automobile production. Kia's Sohari plant, completed by 1973, was Korea's first fully integrated automobile production facility; it rolled out the Brisa, the country's first passenger car, in 1974.

July 25, 2000,  Concorde Jet Crashed.   An Air France Concorde jet crashed upon takeoff in Paris on this day in 2000, killing everyone onboard (105 people -  nine crew members and 96 German tourists) as well as four people on the ground. The Concorde, the world's fastest commercial jet, had enjoyed an exemplary safety record up to that point, with no crashes in the plane's 31-year history.

July 24, 2005, Lance Armstrong Won Seventh Tour de France.  Legendary American cyclist Lance Armstrong won a record-setting seventh consecutive Tour de France and retired from the sport. After surviving testicular cancer, his rise to cycling greatness inspired cancer patients and fans around the world and significantly boosted his sport’s popularity in his native United States.

1 comment:

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