I found a turtle hatchling in February.
It made me wonder how the little things survive winter. Did you know that they produce a special type of antifreeze to keep ice from forming inside their cells?
The hatchling stops moving and breathing. Even its tiny heartbeat stops. However, when warmer temperatures roll back around, the turtle rehydrates and begins life where he left off.
Fertility specialists have captured this same method for freezing human embryos, called blastocysts. In a 100 to 200 celled blastocyst, organ-specific cells already exist. Pancreatic cells, heart muscle cells, blood cells, and nerve cells cluster together even though it has only been 7 or 8 days since fertilization. Specialists can empty each cell of its water and replace it with a substance that has antifreeze capability.
In an interview with Scientific American, Barry Behr, the director of the IVF labratories at Standford University, explained it this way: “The major concern in cryopreservation of cells is the possible formation of ice crystals inside the cells. You can imagine they are like little razor blades inside a balloon.”
The doctors choose so small an embryo because the more cells they must dehydrate, the more complicated the process becomes, hazarding losing the viability of the tiny life it contains.
With the probable overturn of Roe v. Wade in the near future, abortion proponents appeal to all sorts of arguments to justify snuffing out the life of unwanted babies. I heard one this week that I had never heard before.
“If baby Molly can’t be frozen, why could the embryo that became baby Molly be frozen for several years before implantation?” The argument was that an embryo is not living because it could be frozen, while the baby must be living because it would die if frozen.
Hatchling turtles, many species of frogs, some species of moth, and even some forms of bacteria are considered living beings and classified as such even though they can be frozen. Even when their hearts stop beating, their muscles stop moving, and they have no need of oxygen, they still possess the ability to unfreeze and live a normal life.
At some point though, the argument centers on Who is the Author of Life. I believe, as many of you do, that the Lord God is Creator and He cares about even the tiniest beings. He gave turtle hatchlings their ability to survive. He knits together the heart muscle cells of a 4 day old blastocyst before implantation even occurs because the Lord already knows that heart.
Unlike the turtles, He has made that heart in His image, to know Him, choose Him, and love Him.
He is a Sustainer who cares about the little things. From proteins in chromosomes to water molecules, He created the basic building blocks of life from nothing and upholds them by His power.
Choose Life. Choose the God who made and sustains the small things in miraculous ways. Choose the Lord Jesus who holds your life in the palm of His hand.