"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Making Babies, Baby Blues 

Last week's American Society for Reproductive Medicine Annual Meeting generated a number of interesting findings, including some that I buy and some I'm not sure I buy.

A fairly large California study suggests that women who get fertility treatments are nearly three times as likely to have kids with health problems, including autism. This makes sense to me, reflecting the idea that there was probably some reason the women were having trouble conceiving in the first place - and that removing the symptom does not address the cause, which may have had to do with a predisposition to produce troubled offspring.

Similarly, it seems that older mothers may lead to less fertile daughters. The links in this study sound a bit tenuous, but obviously I need to see the actual paper before coming to a proper conclusion. On the upside though, another study reports that ovarian tissue transplants from a healthy twin to an infertile one seem to be effective. Good news there.

In an entirely different kind of thing, scientists appear to have 'given birth' to a new form of water - a crystalline matrix of H2 and O2. Under astounding pressure and X-ray irradiation, they got water to break up and rearrange in this way. I'm not precisely clear why this still counts as water - it seems like it out to be either just hydrogen and oxygen, or at best crystalline hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Anyone care to explain?

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