Using powerful new technology, an international team of doctors and scientists have managed to capture amazingly clear video of a 20 week old baby in the womb.
The incredibly detailed footage was captured using computer-guided ultrasound technologies.
In the short clip, the foetus can be seen fiddling with its umbilical cord, turning its head from side to side and stretching in the mother’s womb.
The system used to capture the video was created by a group called iFind using a grant of around $13 million from the Wellcome Trust and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The automated ultrasound technique compensates for the baby’s movement which can cause traditional ultrasound scans to be inconclusive. The hope is that the system will allow doctors to spot and treat fetal abnormalities more effectively.
The video above was made possible because computer algorithms automatically “copes” or corrects small foetal movements made by the baby during the scan to create clear images.
Normally if a baby moved rapidly in a conventional scan – just like the baby here – the image would become unusable and the mother might have to return for a re-scan.
Researchers and clinicians hope to develop the technology so it will eventually involve four probes which automatically move around the top of the mum’s tummy to get the best image.
It would mean more complications could be picked up earlier and even treated before the baby is even born.
Planned Parenthood and purveyors of “just a clump of tissue” canards will not like this one bit.
Don’t you just love science?