Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
January 6th, 2012


Library Journal Reviews offers an up-to-date look at the current science findings in pregnancy.

Pincott, Jena. Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?: The Surprising Science of Pregnancy.
What a charm! Science writer Pincott (Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?) tackles some myths and legends associated with pregnancy and compares them to peer-reviewed research on the matter. The book covers such questions as: “Do men prefer babies who resemble them?” “What does a baby’s birth season predict?” and “Do bossy broads have more sons?” This is an enjoyable, insightful, and fascinating look at pregnancy that explains what we know and identifies what we don’t. In discussing topics from stretch marks to mama’s boys, Pincott takes a conversational tone, making the science readily available to all readers. An ideal acquisition for public libraries, a great gift for expectant parents, and the perfect choice for the doctor’s waiting room, this winning title deserves some talking up. Way more fun than What To Expect.

In her book, Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? Jena Pincott, science writer, takes an easy-to-understand look at new discoveries about the intimate relationship between baby-in-utero and mother.  Psychology Today has this to say about her.

Jena graduated with a dual major in Biology and Media Studies from Hampshire College. Seeking a happy medium, she worked on science documentaries for PBS, and then moved on to book publishing. She was an editor at John Wiley & Sons. She received an M.A. from New York University; her thesis was on science and the sublime in the works of Thomas Pynchon. Later, she became a senior editor at Random House. Then she left it all to be a science writer.

Jena writes:

Is it any solace to sentimental mothers that their babies will always be part of them?

I’m not talking about emotional bonds, which we can only hope will endure. I mean that for any woman that has ever been pregnant, some of her baby’s cells may circulate in her bloodstream for as long as she lives. Those cells often take residence in her lungs, spinal cord, skin, thyroid gland, liver, intestine, cervix, gallbladder, spleen, lymph nodes, and blood vessels. And, yes, the baby’s cells can also live a lifetime in her heart and mind.

Here’s what happens.

During pregnancy, cells sneak across the placenta in both directions. The fetus’s cells enter his mother, and the mother’s cells enter the fetus. A baby’s cells are detectable in his mother’s bloodstream as early as four weeks after conception, and a mother’s cells are detectable in her fetus by week 13. In the first trimester, one out of every fifty thousand cells in her body are from her baby-to-be (this is how some noninvasive prenatal tests check for genetic disorders). In the second and third trimesters, the count is up to one out of every thousand maternal cells. At the end of the pregnancy, up to 6 percent of the DNA in a pregnant woman’s blood plasma comes from the fetus. After birth, the mother’s fetal cell count plummets, but some stick around for the long haul. Those lingerers create their own lineages. Imagine colonies in the motherland.

Moms usually tolerate the invasion. This is why skin, organ, and bone marrow transplants between mother and child have a much higher success rate than between father and child.

Of course, we nosy mothers would like to know exactly what our children’s cells are up to while they hang out in us. Are they just biding time in our bodies? Are they mother’s little helpers? Or are they baby rebels, planning an insurgency? Read more at Jena’s blog, BOING BOING.

This is stuff for amazement! The more we learn about human biology, the more wonderful it becomes. The interactions! Who knew?!!

Here is a link to experiments done on pregnant mice showing that cells from the indwelling-babies can migrate throughout the mother mouse and actually help her to heal from a heart attack!

We are indeed wonderfully made!

See my previous post on the interaction of the male’s semen with the woman recipient.

October 11th, 2010


Reports of successful treatment using adult stem cells are coming in so fast that they are almost “ho-hum.”  Adult stem cells come not only from tweaking adult cells but are also found in other places such as umbilical cord blood.   They do not require the destruction of any human being.  Here is a report of recent impressive results in treating blindness:

Adult Stem Cells: More than Meets the Eye?

Liberals seem blind to the success of adult stem cells. Maybe if they saw the evidence from a recent Italian study, their eyes would be opened to the potential of ethical research. After cataracts, corneal disease is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. In September, Dr. Jean Peduzzi Nelson testified to the U.S. Senate about the success that Italian doctors have achieved at restoring sight to patients with corneal blindness, using adult stem cells. The details of the successful adult stem cell treatment were given in a June 2010 paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The Italian doctors treated 112 patients who had corneal blindness from chemical burns. The clinical team isolated adult stem cells from a portion of the patient’s eye, grew the cells in the lab to create many new corneal cells, and transplanted the new cells onto the damaged eyes. Over 77% of patients recovered normal vision, and 13% of patients had partial vision restored. One of the successful transplants was a man who had severe damage in both eyes as a result of a chemical burn in 1948. The doctors grafted stem cells from a small section of his left eye to both eyes. His vision is now close to normal. Seeing is believing! Adult stem cells are helping patients now!

By executive order, President Obama in 2009 had overturned Bush’s ruling against the use of tax dollars to experiment with  embryonic  stem cells.   This past August a US court again halted the federal funding of embryonic stem cells.  In September an appeals court ruled that federal funding of embryonic stem cells could continue for now.

In the meantime – the Washington Post reports on the FIRST STUDY in which a patient is treated with embryonic stem cells, primarily as a safety test. 

Washington Post , October 11, 2010
First patient treated in stem cell study

A patient has been treated with human embryonic stem cells in the first study authorized by the Food and Drug Administration to test the controversial therapy.

The patient, who was partially paralyzed by a spinal cord injury, had millions of embryonic stem cells injected into the site of the damage, according to an announcement early Monday by the Geron Corp. of Menlo Park, Calif., which is sponsoring the groundbreaking study.

It seems the administration and the most pro-abortion-president-ever are bound and determined that embryos must be used to obtain stem cells even though there is a demonstrated history of success with adult stem cells and we do not yet know if embryonic stem cells can by safely used.   The Geron Corporation is able to proceed with embryonic stem cell experimentation because they are not federally funded.


Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not. -Jer. 5:21

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

May 22nd, 2009


My friend, Jack, drove to Notre Dame to attend the graduation of his granddaughter this past weekend.  That was the day that Notre Dame’s president, faculty and graduates made it crystal clear to the world that Notre Dame is not a Catholic university.  As of that date, 74 U.S. bishops had called on Notre Dame to rescind its invitation to President  Barack Obama to give the commencement address because of his  views on abortion and stem cell research.

Obama came.  Obama spoke. Notre Dame gave him a standing “O”.

“Obama hit a home run,” Jack told me.

He did, indeed.  Our silver-tongued president (with the help of his speech-writers and his teleprompters, of course) told us “Let’s work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions, let’s reduce unintended pregnancies… Let’s provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term.”

He also said that the Catholic church’s rejection of abortion and his staunch support of abortion for those who “need” one were irreconcilable.  He’s all about dialogue but he knows no one’s position is going to change. Let’s see what he does to reduce abortions and help pregnant women carry their children to term.

He told us, “Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son’s or daughter’s hardships can be relieved.”  He did not care (or dare?) to recognize the difference between embryonic stem cells and so-called adult stem cells, the former requiring the death of an embryo and so far non-productive, the latter fruitful and the source of our hope.  (See my previous post.)

He told us, “Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women.”   We will see, won’t we, whether Catholic hospitals, doctors and medical personnel will be forced to provide services that violate their consciences as has already happened with Catholic adoption services.  Why do I fear that Obama’s “sound science” will trump God’s wisdom every time?

He said, “It is beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us, and those of us who believe must trust that His wisdom is greater than our own.”   Does Mr. Obama think anyone’s wisdom is greater than his own?  He doesn’t give us a clue as to what he thinks is God’s wisdom.  It can’t imagine that it’s the  ten commandments!

He said he hopes to more fully “realize the dream of civil rights for all of God’s children.”   This is from the man who opposed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act!   Jill Stanek (below) tells what happens to God’s children who are intended to be aborted but are born alive.

Yes, Obama hit a home run.

And, smart man, he said nothing at all about homosexual marriage, one subject on which he ostensibly actually agrees with the Catholic church.    He wouldn’t want to rile his gay base.   He knows which side his bread is buttered on.

His talk was all platitudes and kumbaya.   He talked about “Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.” But, talk is cheap, Mr. President.  Will you walk the walk, or will you just talk the talk and do whatever  you  please?


If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. – 1 Corinthians 13.1
For the record I am adding comments by a few of the many bishops who disapproved Fr. Jenkins’ honoring Obama:

Most Rev. Charles Chaput, Denver:  “‘Notre Dame didn’t need to do this to show its openness to ‘dialogue.’  And candidly, very few Notre Dame faculty members would accept from their students the kind of creative reasoning now being used to defend the invitation.”

Most Rev. Joseph Naumann, Kansas City:  “In reality, NotreDame’s invitation signals to President Obama that there is no need to dialogue.  Why should the president feel a need to dialogue when he is honored by our nation’s most prestigious Catholic university no matter how extreme his policies and actions supporting legalized abortion!”

Most Rev. Thomas Doran, Rockford, IL:  “I would ask that you rescind this unfortunate decision and so avoid dishonoring the practicing Catholics of the United States, including those of this Diocese.  Failing that, please have the decency to change the name of the University to something like, ‘The Fighting Irish College’ or ‘Northwestern Indiana Humanist University.'”

Most Rev. Fabian Bruskewitz, Lincoln, NE:  “[Fr. Jenkins,] I can assure you of my prayers for your conversion, and for the conversion of your formerly Catholic University.”


September, 2009:

Tradition Family Property Student Action launched an online petition yesterday urging Fr. John I. Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, to drop trespassing charges levied against eighty-eight pro-life advocates who entered university property during the 2009 commencement address of President Obama.

Among those arrested are Ambassador Alan Keyes, Fr. Norman Weslin, and Norma McCorvey.

If Notre Dame does not drop the charges, the pro-life advocates face up to one year in jail. “As the original complainant,” the petition reads, “Notre Dame has the choice to drop the charges.” reports: “While witnesses say pro- Obama protesters were allowed to roam free, the arrested individuals were singled out for displaying any pro-life message — including slogans on the sanctity of life, photographs of aborted children, a large wooden cross, and images of Mary.” Notre Dame “has repeatedly refused to seek such leniency or even answer the pro-lifers’ requests for dialogue.”

“The double standard is shocking,” said James Bascom, TFP Student Action volunteer. “Why does the most pro-abortion president in American history receive an honorary degree while pro-lifers receive a jail term? Pro-life Americans should respectfully ask Fr. Jenkins to drop the charges.”

April 5th, 2009


How long, oh Lord, how long, must we put up with the left dominating the media with their catchy slogans and their disdain for facts?  If they had their way, they would shut right-wingers down yesterday  –  which is exactly what the Fairness Doctrine aims to do:   stop Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh, anyone who tries to counter the spin on the major networks. And they dare to call this intolerance Fairness.

But Fairness sounds good, doesn’t it.  Everybody is for Fairness.  Just as Choice sounds good.  Who can be against choice?  Everybody is for free choice.  But for the left Choice means the right to kill the unborn child – any time, any way.   Still choice sounds good on the face of it  – until you look into what they who have commandeered that term really want to do.

Along comes stem cell research and curing Parkinson’s disease.  Everyone wants to cure Parkinson’s (and cancer and Alzheimer’s and a myriad of other disastrous diseases.)   They talked Nancy Reagan (who has experienced Alzheimer’s up close) and Michael J Fox (with his acute Parkinson’s) into campaigning for them.   Despite the fact that all the progress thus far has come from adult stem cell research — despite the fact that embryonic stem cell research not only kills living human beings but is inherently dangerous because of the totipotency of the embryonic tissue – despite everything that a well-intentioned person can find out for himself with a little research.

But curing Parkinson’s sounds good, doesn’t it?  At last – finally –  a smidgen of truth on the subject has appeared on a major network.  And not only a major network but on Oprah!  I do believe that in spite of her track record  Oprah tries to be on the side of truth.  At last (see the video below) we see “America’s Doctor,”  Dr. Mehmet Oz,  telling Oprah and Michael J Fox that adult cell stem cell research is the real answer.  Of course, this is something we on the right have been saying all along! I pray Michael Fox is really listening and not only would like a cure for Parkinson’s but will want no further part in this deception, however inadvertent.

However, another video from the same show, from a different source and of a poorer quality, is still around.

Mehmet Oz, Michael J. Fox

And here, from the National Catholic Register, is another video clip from the Oprah show as Josh Brahm gives his take on Dr. Oz’s comments on the stem cell debate. Brahm appreciates that Dr. Oz is not toeing the party line when he writes:

Oprah looks on with a certain horror (she knows the political ramifications) as he explains: “The problem with embryonic stem cells is that embryonic stem cells come from embryos, like all of us were made from embryos. And those cells can become any cell in the body. But it’s very hard to control them, and so they can become cancer.

Obama’s recent executive order rescinded President Bush’s limitation on  funding for embryonic stem cell research and at the same time took away funding for other types of stem cell research, the only kind to have proven results!    This occurred after his ostentatious memorandum on scientific integrity just last month!

Michael Fox applauded Obama’s action:

Now that the President has taken this critical action, I am excited by the prospect of American scientists carrying human embryonic stem cell research forward toward better treatments and cures that will affect countless millions of lives.

Charles Krauthammer (who does not  believe that personhood is conferred at conception) writes:

Obama’s pretense that he will “restore science to its rightful place” and make science, not ideology, dispositive in moral debates is yet more rhetorical sleight of hand — this time to abdicate decision-making and color his own ideological preferences as authentically “scientific.”

Dr. Oz thinks the stem cell debate is dead.   Would that it were true.  The culture of death does not give up easily.   One does have to wonder what Michael J. Fox was thinking as Dr. Oz implied that he has been barking up the wrong tree.

REP. RANDY FORBES, (R-VA) asks for stem cell support.   Congressman Forbes’ father died with Parkinson’s disease and his brother now suffers from it.