I know: you're going to think I'm a nerd, and that I'm a bit of a curmudgeon, but when I watched Alexander Tsiaras' TEDTalk about his gorgeous video, "Conception to Birth - Visualized," I kept thinking, "Huh?"
A friend of mine is in the late stages of a tragic pregnancy that will lead either to a stillborn baby or, at best, to a baby that will struggle for a few hours and die. The prognosis was made early on and the decision to take the baby to term was made.
My goal is to visualize life in all its glory. And to see how daily lifestyle decisions affect the choreography of all of our cellular activity, causing disturbances stored in trillions of X, Y, Z coordinates.
Women have long been subjected to excessive societal pressure to sublimate their own needs, bodies and behaviors and to sacrifice them to those of developing fetuses. But, slippery slopes are slippery.
In the field of prenatal diagnosis this has become a holy grail of sorts, with researchers chasing a reliable test, and diagnostics companies lapping at their heels to bring the tests to market and reap the financial rewards.
The basic question for toxicologists and pediatricians (and for the EPA) is whether there is indeed such a thing as a "safe" concentration of a toxic substance for an embryo or fetus. My own view is no.