Saturday, August 1, 2015

U Penn's 'Foal Cam' to livestream horse's birth

If, for some reason, you ever wanted a close-up, live look at the birth of a horse, the University of Pennsylvania has got you covered. Just tune in February 26-we won't judge.

U Penn's 'Foal Cam' to livestream horse's birth

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My Special Girl gets an ultrasound on January 27, 2014. (Photo via Penn Vet)
My Special Girl gets an ultrasound on January 27, 2014. (Photo via Penn Vet)

If, for some reason, you ever wanted a close-up, live look at the birth of a horse, the University of Pennsylvania has got you covered.  Just tune in February 26—we won’t judge.

The U Penn School of Veterinary Medicine will start rolling their “Foal Cam” (like an equine version of the Kiss Cam) on that date, when pregnant mare My Special Girl is expected to give birth. Educational, to be sure, and staffers hope that the event will give viewers a look at the New Bolton Center, where the birth is taking place.

However, this actually is not the first time U Penn has broadcast My Special Girl—that honor goes to the stream during which she was impregnated. Usually you have to pay for that sort of thing.

“She is just a surrogate mother carrying the baby for the donor mare, who supplied the egg, and the donor stallion, who supplied the sperm,” Penn Vet’s Dr. Regina Turner told NBC. 

Jokes aside, My Special Girl’s coming live broadcast baby birth is actually due to a fairly interesting technical innovation. MSG was impregnated using a technique known as “intracytoplasmic sperm injection,” (ICSI) which uses a single sperm to fertilize a mature egg. The sperm, in fact, came from a long-dead Thoroughbred-Quarter horse stallion.

MSG’s pregnancy serves as the first ICSI has resulted successfully in a fertilized egg in the Delaware Valley, so this actually is a landmark. 

And landmarks, every so often, are kind of gross. Remember to tune in February 26.

[NBC]

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