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November 13th, 2018

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Mother of Invention | Chutzpah!

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published August 16, 2017

 Mother of Invention  |  Chutzpah!

Robotic models of living organisms are useful to scientists, who can study the effects of stimuli without risk to actual people. Northwestern University researchers announced in March that its laboratory model of the "female reproductive system" has reached a milestone: its first menstrual period. The "ovary," using mouse tissue, had produced hormones that stimulated the system (uterus, cervix, vagina, fallopian tubes, liver) for 28 days, reaching the predictable result. Chief researcher Teresa Woodruff said she imagines eventually growing a model from tissue provided by the patient undergoing treatment. [New York Times, 4-4-2017]

Henry Wachtel, 24, continues in legal limbo after being found "not criminally responsible" for the death of his mother in 2014, despite having beaten her in the head and elsewhere up to 100 times -- because he was having an epileptic seizure at that moment and has no memory of the attack. A judge must still decide the terms of Wachtel's psychiatric hospitalization, but Wachtel's mind is clear enough now that, in March, he demanded, as sole heir, payoff on his mother's life insurance policy (which, under New York law, is still technically feasible). [New York Post, 3-30-2017]

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