New study: unborn child’s heartbeat is detectable at 16 days

I'm Scheming Unborn Baby, and I approve this study
I’m Scheming Unborn Baby, and I approve this study

A new study conducted by University of Oxford was published in the journal eLife. (H/T Dad)

Here is the report from the Oxford University website:

When does our heart first start to beat? Until now, researchers thought that the first time our heart muscle contracted to beat was at eight days after conception in mice, which equates to around day 21 of a human pregnancy.

Now, a team funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) at the University of Oxford has demonstrated earlier beating of the heart in mouse embryos which, if extrapolated to the human heart, suggests beating as early as 16 days after conception.

In the study, published in the journal eLife, researchers looked at the developing mouse heart and found that the muscle started to contract as soon as it formed the cardiac crescent – an early stage in heart development. In mice, this crescent forms 7.5 days after conception, which is equivalent to day 16 in the human embryo. Previously, it was thought that the heart started to contract a stage later, when the heart appears as a linear tube.

Here’s how they did it:

By adding fluorescent markers to calcium molecules within the mouse embryo, the team was able to see at exactly which point in time the calcium tells our heart muscle cells to contract and then become coordinated enough to produce a heartbeat.

The team also found that this initiation of beating was essential for the heart to develop properly at an early stage and that a protein called NCX1 plays a key role in the generation of the calcium signals needed to produce the beating action of the heart.

The heart is the first organ to form during pregnancy and is critical in providing oxygen and nutrients to the developing embryo. The process of heart development is highly conserved between mammalian species, meaning that these findings may add considerably to our understanding of how the human heart develops.

Abortion is another one of those issues where conservatives are determined to abide by what the progress of science reveals, while liberals are determined to block out what science reveals.

Here is a nice video that shows how unborn children develop in the womb:

From the moment of conception, a new set of human DNA is formed, different from the mother, different from the father. And already the little unborn child is in relationship with his or her mother. He or she is depending on her to honor her obligation to him or her, because it was she who chose to have sex, and who chose the man to have sex with, and who chose when in the relationship to have sex with him.

Those of us who are Christians have always believed that abortion was morally wrong, going write back to the beginning of the Christian faith.

This is from Birds of the Air.


Recently I came across a reading of the Didache. “The what?” you may ask. The Didache is a book written somewhere in the first or second century. For a long time it was up for consideration as Scripture. It was believed to be the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles. Eventually it was agreed that the book was an excellent book, but not inspired Scripture. So I was pleased to be able to download this admirable book containing good teachings from the early Church fathers.

The book seemed to be largely a lot of quotes from Scripture. You’ll learn the basic rules of Christianity — “First, you shall love God who made you; second, love your neighbor as yourself.” You’ll learn that “grave sins” are forbidden, like adultery, murder, fornication, and so on. (They specifically include pederasty in the list.) There are instructions regarding teachers, prophets, Christian assembly, and so on. Lots of the normal, good stuff. But, since this was written sometime prior to 200 AD, I was somewhat surprised at this instruction: “You shall not murder a child by abortion” (Didache, Ch 2).

Christians really would benefit from looking at the moral values of the early church. These days, we tend to decide what is right and wrong based on our feelings, including the feelings we have when other people like us or don’t like us. But deciding things based on your feelings was not real popular with the earliest Christians. They decided what to do based on what was morally right, and they always protected the weak rather than favoring the selfishness and hedonism of the strong.

One the reasons I could never be an atheist is that I would have to shut my eyes to science, and not let science provide me with the facts that undergird my reasoning about moral issues. Most of the atheists I know don’t care about science. They just want to do what makes them feel good, and they don’t care who else gets hurt.

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