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A Miracle: Texas Mom Delivers Rare Healthy Identical Quadruplets Without Fertility Treatment

“Unbelievable”: Texas mom delivers rare identical quadruplets — a 1 in 11 million miracle!

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(TMU) – When Jenny Marr of Dallas, Texas, learned that she was pregnant, she was understandably feeling nervous. After all, pregnancy is a very emotional experience – especially if it’s a first child.

But when Jenny and her husband Chris, both 35, went to her first ultrasound exam to catch a first glimpse of their child, they were on pins and needles as their doctor responded with a quizzical, almost confused look on her face. Jenny asked the doctor what was wrong.

Marr recounted the scene to Today:

“I was like, ‘Oh no, there’s no heartbeat.’ And, she’s like, ‘No, there is a heartbeat,’ … She goes, ‘Y’all, there’s three babies in there.’ And we were just absolutely floored.”

One week later on Nov. 19, 2019, they followed up with a visit to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, who also gave them a similar quizzical glance. Chris explained:

“The tech — who was doing the initial (scan) — she gave me a funny look. We were like, ‘Oh what’s going on now?’ We got worried again,’ … She was really cute. She said, ‘I’m not supposed to say this, but y’all got four babies.’”

Rather than triples, the couple was actually going to have a set of identical quadruplets.

What followed was a period of shock for the couple, both of whom had been raised as only children. Neither of their families had a history of multiple births either, nor was Jenny taking any fertility treatments.

The fact that this was all unfolding during the coronavirus pandemic didn’t make the situation any easier.

Chris explained that the feeling he had was dizzying, and he joked that maybe it was a bad idea to return to the clinic or else it might be five babies the next time. However, all of the fetuses were in healthy shape – but that still didn’t make the feeling of expecting quadruplets any easier.

Chris told the Washington Post:

“It sounds horrible to say, but I don’t know if it was necessarily tears of joy. We were completely overwhelmed and, frankly, terrified.”

According to experts, a natural pregnancy of quadruplets is extremely rare and happens only once in every 11 million births. There are only 72 recorded cases of identical quadruplets in the world – and most are girls.

The Marrs were also taken aback after learning that the quadruplets shared the same placenta – meaning that if the four didn’t share their nourishment more or less equally, it could endanger one or more of the children.

However, the fears turned out to be unfounded. Jenny went into labor on March 15, just one day before Dallas County announced its own stay-at-home order and physical distancing measures.

The quadruplets – Hudson, Harrison, Henry and Hardy – were born at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, and are all doing well now. The smallest baby, Hudson, weighed in at 1 pound, 15 ounces, but he had had no need for oxygen.

The four stayed at the neonatal intensive care unit for several weeks to ensure that they remained healthy. The family of six were able to finally return home last week. Jenny told CBS DFW:

“It’s a different world we live in now, and it’s really interesting to be going through all of this. We literally gave birth on the day the pandemic broke out.”

And while the baby boys are steadily developing their own unique personalities, the parents have still given them little ankle bracelets so they can each be identified.

Chris admits that they “confuse them from time to time,” but he added:

“They each have little bitty characteristics … When we sit down and look at them we can figure out who they are but if you just look at them from a distance, they all look the same. Thank God, Hudson’s a little smaller than everybody else and quieter.”

Jenny hopes that her experience bringing the little miracles into the world can bring other expecting parents help despite the trying times of the current health emergency. She said:

“We just hope that this little story and our boys bring as much joy to everybody as they bring to us.”

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Awesome New Infrared Goggles Could Help Blind People ‘See’ Surroundings

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People who are blind or deal with low vision face a unique number of challenges in their daily lives, ranging from accessing published material to holding a job or living on one’s own.

However, emerging infrared technology under research could help the blind and visually impaired navigate the world around them using a pair of innovative goggles.

In new research recently published and yet to be peer-reviewed, Manuel Zahn and Armaghan Ahmad Khan at Germany’s Technical University of Munich explored how their 3D camera and haptic feedback armband can assist people with low vision.

“Even in the present era, visually impaired people face a constant challenge of navigation,” the pair wrote. “The most common tool available to them is the cane. Although the cane allows good detection of objects in the user’s immediate vicinity, it lacks the ability to detect obstacles further away.”

The two students’ design deploys two infrared cameras placed in a 3D-printed goggles prototype to get a stereoscopic view that is transformed by a small computer into a map of the user’s surroundings. The infrared gear also works in the dark. The armband then uses 25 actuators arranged in a grid that vibrates when users come close to objects while also assisting them in their orientation. As users walk near obstacles, the vibration intensity of the actuators increases.

In tests, subjects enjoyed roughly 98 percent accuracy while getting through obstacle pathways, with all five participants completing the course in their first run. After two additional runs, the volunteers were able to navigate the obstacles more rapidly.

Zahn and Khan frequently cited Microsoft’s Kinect motion detection system for the Xbox in their study, but the pair are confident that their own setup will be far smaller, cheaper and less conspicuous than the gaming device.

The new headset could offer an interesting opportunity for blind and partially sighted people to clear the myriad obstacles they face when performing regular tasks or navigating the world around them.

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In World First, Man Receives Heart Transplanted From Gene-Hacked Pig

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In a groundbreaking world first, a 57-year-old man in the U.S. has become the first person in the world to receive a heart transplant from a genetically-modified pig.

The revolutionary procedure’s apparent success offers hope to hundreds of thousands of people who are struggling with failing vital organs amid scarce supplies of human organs.

The patient, David Bennett of Maryland, is in good shape days after the experimental seven-hour operation took place in Baltimore on Friday, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

The surgical procedure is the result of years of fervent efforts by researchers to develop pigs whose organs would be compatible with the human body, and was made possible by recent advances in gene editing and cloning technology. The heart transplant was preceded months ago by a successful kidney transplant in New York which also used an organ harvested from a genetically engineered pig.

“This is a watershed event,” said David Klassen, chief medical officer at the United Network for Organ Sharing, reports New York Times. “Doors are starting to open that will lead, I believe, to major changes in how we treat organ failure.”

The University of Maryland doctors received a special dispensation from regulators to carry out the procedure due to the fact that Bennett’s death was certain in the absence of a transplant.

Surgeon Bartley Griffith, who took part in the transplant, expressed pride in taking part in bringing the world “one step closer to solving the organ shortage crisis,” reports BBC. Roughly 17 people die every day in the U.S. while awaiting transplants, which are in extremely short supply.

“People die all the time on the waiting list, waiting for organs. If we could use genetically engineered pig organs they’d never have to wait, they could basically get an organ as they needed it,” said Christine Lau, Department of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

“Plus, we wouldn’t have to fly all over the country at night-time to recover organs to put them into recipients.”

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