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See the Cyclops Child! - From India
« on: February 26, 2008, 03:37:59 AM »
See the Cyclops Child! - From India
By: Stefan Anitei, Science Editor - Softpedia

See-the-Cyclops-Child-2 - See the Cyclops Child! - From India - Weird and Extreme
The Indian cyclops girl

You may think that cyclopes are found only in ancient Greek legends and myths. But the reality can beat the fiction.

In 2006, medics at Kasturba Gandhi Hospital for Women and Children in Chennai, India, witnessed the birth of this cyclops child. The cause was not found, but Cyclopamine, a drug believed to be a powerful anti-carcinogenic chemical, was the main suspect.

The couple turned to IVF treatment because of failing having a child after 6 years of marriage. Soon, the woman got pregnant, but an ultrasound scan made during the third trimester of the pregnancy revealed that the baby had severe problems. It was much too late for abortion, and the woman went through induced labor.

The child has cyclopia: like the monster from the Greek myths, the girl had a single central eye in her forehead, and she was devoid of nose, while her brain was joined into a sole hemisphere. Usually, cyclopes are born dead, so that the doctors were surprised the girl lived for several minutes.

"We were all shocked. My first reaction was to feel very sorry for the mother who had waited so long for her child," said Dr. Sathya Latha, head of pediatrics at the hospital.

At that time, the case was a warning signal for the lax Indian medical regulations.

"While some fertility clinics offer useless treatments, others may offer discounts for patients who agree to enroll in illegal clinical trials. There is no central registry of ongoing clinical trials, so it is almost impossible to check a master list to see what is going on," said Dr. Chandra Gulhati, editor of the Monthly Index of Medical Specialties and one of India's leading experts in medical ethics.

Cyclopia can be caused by extremely low cholesterol, shortage of vitamin B9 or diabetes, or by exposure to toxins (drugs or contaminants) during pregnancy. Cyclopamine was detected in 1957, when Idaho sheep who had consumed toxic corn lily (Veratrum californicum) gave birth to cyclops (one-eyed) lambs.

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