Cinema: Embryonic Grasp

A newborn baby will close its fist on any object which touches its palm—which is to say, the newly delivered infant has a fully developed grasping response. Dr. Davenport Hooker, professor of anatomy at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, knows that the grasping reflex originates in the embryo long before birth. He has an understanding with a Pittsburgh hospital, which notifies him whenever it has on hand a living abortus so that Dr. Hooker can rush to the scene with his photographer, make pictures and experiments before the fetus expires.

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