Would you like to know the gender of your baby more than a month before finding out from your doctor? Some people believe that widely-available, gender-predicting blood tests don't work. But a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that they do—to the tune of 95-percent accuracy when the mother was at least seven weeks pregnant. The test is a medical breakthrough for moms and babies at risk for sex-linked hereditary diseases, but it also raises issues over gender selection and abortion. Let the debates begin.
In related news, an article in New York Magazine profiles parents who have chosen to "reduce" in vitro and other medically-assisted pregnancies that resulted in the mother carrying more than one child. The story addresses a paradox presented by reproductive medicine: "In creating life where none seemed possible, doctors often generate more fetuses than they intend."
We were bummed after reading this report about Nice Cream, whose basil-chocolate flavor we featured in issue 9, by the New American: "Residents of the Windy City may have to do without their favorite ice cream for a while, and possibly for good; and they have government to thank for it. According to the Chicago Tribune, Kris Swanberg, a laid-off Chicago public school teacher who chased the American Dream by starting her own business making artisanal ice cream, was recently told by the Illinois Department of Public Health that she will have to stop selling her product, Nice Cream, until she obtains a dairy license." We'll miss you Nice Cream. It's a good thing our 50 sweet scoops guide is chock-full of other options.
This weekend, after seeing a good friend's daughter's theater-camp production of "Mulan" in the far NW 'burbs, we all went out for ice cream. Several moms mentioned how little their kids barely study and practice penmanship in school any more. It's essential to be keyboard-proficient, of course, but they were concerned about their kids' handwriting. Right on cue, CNN publishes this report.
Finally, a lot of kids around the nation are back in school, but not in Illinois. The required 176 days in school in Illinois is one of the shortest in the nation, as addressed in this Op Ed in the Chicago Tribune. Mayor Emanuel is pushing for kids to have more time in school but that won’t happen until at least next year when a new teacher’s contract is hammered out. What do you think, should kids have more time in school?