Medicine: Earliest Human

For eleven years Dr. Arthur Tremain Hertig of Harvard Medical School has been trying to study a human embryo in the first hours after conception. Last week, Dr. Hertig told the International and Fourth American Congress on Obstetrics and Gynecology, meeting in Manhattan, that he had succeeded in studying the youngest human yet: he had put under the microscope a specimen which was obtained only 60 hours after the ovum had been fertilized.

Such human embryos can only be studied after surgery (removal of the uterus and Fallopian tubes) which happens to take place shortly after conception. Ten years ago, Dr. Hertig...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!