Many think that the image on the Shroud of Turin is of Christ and that the image formed when a great burst of light occurred at the moment of His resurrection.
How about a burst of light at the beginning of human life?
The following item raises a great many moral questions, but the discovery that there is a burst of light at conception is utterly fascinating.
From The Telegraph:
Bright flash of light marks incredible moment life begins when sperm meets egg
Human life begins in bright flash of light as a sperm meets an egg, scientists have shown for the first time, after capturing the astonishing ‘fireworks’ on film.
An explosion of tiny sparks erupts from the egg at the exact moment of conception.
Scientists had seen the phenomenon occur in other animals but it is the first time is has been also shown to happen in humans.
Not only is it an incredible spectacle, highlighting the very moment that a new life begins, the size of the flash can be used to determine the quality of the fertilised egg. [Ummm… How were the ‘materials’ obtained? What happens to the ‘fertilized egg’ (= person) now?]
Researchers from Northwestern University, in Chicago, noticed that some of the eggs burn brighter than others, showing that they are more likely to produce a healthy baby. [No, that’s not at all a slippery slope towards eugenics.]
The discovery could help fertility doctors pick the best fertilised eggs to transfer during in vitro fertilisation (IVF). [Did I mention eugenics?]
“It was remarkable,” said Professor Teresa Woodruff, one of the study’s two senior authors and an expert in ovarian biology at Northwestern.
“We discovered the zinc spark just five years ago in the mouse, and to see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.
“This means if you can look at the zinc spark at the time of fertilization, you will know immediately which eggs are the good ones to transfer in in vitro fertilization.
“It’s a way of sorting egg quality [?] in a way we’ve never been able to assess before. “All of biology starts at the time of fertilization, yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”
Currently around 50 per cent of fertilised eggs do not develop properly and experts believe that faulty genetic code could be responsible.
Some clinics take videos of the egg developing to try pick up problems early, [?] while others check for genetic mutations, but that is an invasive procedure which can damage the tiny egg. Often it is just down to a clinician decided which eggs look the healthiest.
But the new findings could give and extra indication that an egg is flourishing. A video of nine human eggs coming into contact with sperm enzyme showed two flashed much brighter than the rest.
[…]The bright flash occurs because when sperm enters an egg it leads to a surge of calcium which triggers the release of zinc from the egg. As the zinc shoots out, it binds to small molecules which emit a fluorescence which can be picked up by camera microscopes.
Over the last six years this team has shown that zinc controls the decision to grow and change into a completely new genetic organism. [And then there’s God….]
Again, there are many and serious moral issues at play here, but the discovery is still amazing.