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Explaining the “Spark of Life” at Conception

Explaining the “Spark of Life” at Conception - When Does Life Begin?

In recent years, scientists have discovered there is a flash of light at the moment of conception. Many people believe this is a “spark of life.” Why does this occur? We explain the science behind this “spark of life” at conception and what it could mean for fetal rights:

What is this spark?

For many years, scientists had only observed a spark of light at conception in animal reproduction. In 2011, scientists at Northwestern University discovered a spark at fertilization in mice eggs. They later observed human eggs and found that the same reaction occurred. So, what caused this spark of light?

With new fluorescent sensors, scientists were able to identify the cause of this reaction: zinc. These sensors showed thousands of zinc compartments within the eggs. Upon fertilization, the sperm enzyme activated the egg, causing calcium levels to rise which triggered the release of zinc. This explosion of sorts lasted for up to two hours after fertilization.

Why is this spark so important?

This zinc-induced spark marks successful fertilization, and a successfully fertilized egg marks the beginning of a new life — a new human life! This successfully fertilized egg already possesses a full 46-chromosome DNA chain identifying it as a unique human being — separate from that of its mother and father.

The fertilized egg has only just begun its journey along the continuum of life, needing only time and nourishment to progress through the stages of human development. Remember, “zygote”, “embryo”, and “fetus” are simply scientific terms for those stages of the developing human being — just as later we use terms like infant, toddler, preteen, adolescent, adult, etc. The terminology does not signify a change in genetic identity. There is nothing new added genetically after conception.

In society we often use light or fireworks to herald or celebrate. How appropriate that a flash of light marks the beginning of each unique human life!

Watch a video of the “spark of life” at conception here. Learn more about the various stages of fetal development (conception, first, second, and third trimester) and don’t forget to follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok).