Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Life Links 5/9/12

Mercatornet has an interview with Dr. Elard S. Koch who published a study which found that Chile strengthened abortion law didn't increase maternal morbidity.
In this sense, it is a unique natural experiment conducted in a developing country. Thus, a first difference between the data from Chile and data from Poland, Malta and Ireland is that, in the case of Chile, there is a rigorous analysis controlled by multiple confounders. It is not a matter of circumstantial or anecdotal evidence, but a matter of scientific data representing real, vital events whose methodology has been published for the first time in a peer-reviewed scientific journal......

As discussed in our article, according to the most recent report published by Chilean National Institute of Statistics, the maternal mortality ratio for 2009 was 16.9 per 100,000 live births (43 deaths) and the figures for indirect causes (codes O99, O98), gestational hypertension and eclampsia (codes O14, O15), abortion (code O06), and other direct obstetric causes were 18 (41.9%), 11 (25.6%), 1 (2.3%) and 13 (30.2%) respectively.

The Toronto Star has an article on the youthfulness of Canada's prolife movement.
No longer just grey-haired activists holding signs outside abortion clinics, the pro-life movement has undergone a savvy, youthful makeover. Viral video contests, slick marketing campaigns, podcasts and Facebook groups fly in the face of assumptions that all young people lean left and that opposing abortion is antiquated.

"The young people seem to be taking over all the older groups and it's hugely re-energizing," said 23-year-old Jonathon Van Maren, communications director with the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform. "And I think that the older generation is recognizing that new tactics, new ideas, new blood in the movement is really what's going to change it."

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has a story about Australian doctor Foteini Hassiotou who discovered breast milk contains stem cells which have a level of pluripotency to them.
"We've just started transplantation experiments and we've shown that they can differentiate into many different cell types outside the mammary lineage … we've turned them into bone cells, brain, liver, and pancreatic cells that produce insulin.

"I guess the next step would be to see how that would work in vivo, to see how these cells behave when they were injected into the animals."
One more radical idea emerges from this work: a new insight into the 'breast is best' debate.

"Since these stem cells are in the milk, and nothing exists without a purpose, I believe that they have a role for the baby. Since these cells can differentiate into all the different cell types, my hypothesis is that they may contribute to the baby's development early on, not only its immunity but also the development of the different tissues and organs."

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