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Unborn babies see more than we first thought, study reveals

The developing eyes of unborn babies are far more complex than scientists first thought, new research suggests.

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley found that, by the thirteenth week of pregnancy, light-sensitive cells in the retinas of developing babies interact with each other in an interconnected network and could affect brain development in unsuspected ways.

Incredibly, the scientific breakthrough could help explain problems such as light-induced migraines or why light therapy works for depression.

It was previously thought that unborn babies could not see at this point in their development.

However, the recent discovery has gone beyond known information that already found babies in the womb sensed light at sixteen weeks in order to become accustomed to 24-hour, day-night rhythms.

Marla Feller, who is a UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology and has spent 20 years of studying the developing retina, said:

“In the past, people demonstrated that these light-sensitive cells are important for things like the development of the blood vessels in the retina and light entrainment of circadian rhythms, but those were kind of a light on/light off response, where you need some light or no light.

“This seems to argue that they are actually trying to code for many different intensities of light, encoding much more information than people had previously thought.”

Two years ago, it was revealed that babies may be able to recognise faces while still in the womb.

Researchers at Lancaster University found unborn babies would turn their heads towards shapes which resemble faces – with the position of eyes and nose picked out.

Their study, which was conducted on 39 expectant mothers who were 34 weeks (8 months) pregnant, suggests that the instinct to recognise facial features develops before a baby has even seen their first face.

It also shows that an unborn baby’s senses are already well developed and parents should begin interacting with their baby while it is still in the womb.

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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Dear reader,

Earlier this year, abortion campaigners brought forward an amendment to the UK Government’s flagship Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that would have introduced abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth (including sex-selective abortion).

Thanks to the support from people like you, this amendment did not go to a vote and pass, but we expect the abortion lobby to make another attempt to introduce this extreme abortion law change shortly.

This would be the single biggest change to abortion legislation since 1967 and would leave England and Wales with one of the most extreme abortion laws in the world.

Please sign the petition to Boris Johnson, asking him to ensure that his Government does everything in its power to stop the introduction of abortion up to birth.

 

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    Be the first to know…

    When you sign up for email updates from us, you will be receiving:

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      Right To Life UK will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at info@righttolife.org.uk. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please see our Privacy Policy.

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