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Thursday, September 02, 2004

Welcome September!

Hello everyone,

September! I love this month. Not only is it my birthday month, but it means fall, cooler weather, and we're that much closer to Christmas!

This is the second September we've spent on the east coast. Last September was very eventful. We had the hurricane, I started at my job, and Juice started grad school. This September is a little quieter. No hurricane this year for us, (those poor people in Florida are getting hit hard!) and I've been at my job for a year. And Juice started his second, and hopefully final, year of grad school.

Let me explain my job a little bit better. GIVF is an infertility clinic. Basically we dope up nice women on hormones and put them through the roller coaster ride of daily poking, prodding and the like. It makes these nice women (I have to believe they are nice), very upset people. Now mainly they are nice but sometimes those hormones we give them don't mesh. It gets interesting. My section of the office consists of 4 other people besides me. Maria, Hodan, Jon, and Tammy. Tammy is my boss. We answer all the incoming calls to the Institute, make appointments, and give general information. I have learned a lot in the year working here. Did you know that there are 2 different options for choosing the gender of your child? One option is do do what is called Microsort (www.microsort.com) where we separate the female sperm from the male sperm by putting them in a solution that will attach to the X or Y chromosome. If it's an X, it will show pink on the microscope (imagine that!) and if it's a Y, it will show green. Right now Microsort is in clinical trial so there are a few guidelines that patients must qualify in order to have it done. Like they have to be doing this for family balancing (people who already have one child and would like another of the opposite sex) and for X linked disorders (like hemophilia). Typically, these disorders only show up in male children, and female children are unaffected, although they carry the gene. Currently I think the success rate of Microsort is 91% for a girl, and 78% for a boy. The cost is around $3,000 for the sort.

If you want to get more in depth with the genetic side of selecting a specific gender, you can do what's called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). In order to this, you have to do in vitro fertilization (IVF) so that we can have the embryos outside the uterus. When the embryos reach a specific stage in their development, we'll take a cell out of them and test them for gender as well as genetic disorders. This is 99% accurate for a gender. But it's more involved than the Microsort option.

In any case, that's a little bit about my job. I feel like I've written a book!

Juice started school today. He's a little nervous and sad to be going back to his very hectic schedule. But, this is the reason why we're here. I think he'll have a fine semester. He's got Mechanics of Space Flight, Theory of Vibration, and Spacecraft Design. I think it sounds like a lot of fun for him.

Love you all,
Safire and Juice

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:18 AM

    Well, since no one else has posted a comment, I thought I'd be your first! I have to agree that September is my favorite month as well! For the exact same reasons as you too! :) It's great to read your little stories about what's going on with you and Jeff.



I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. --Helen Keller