The Conception Algorithm

How do you feel about someone pinpointing when you had sex?  Too personal?  Not an appropriate question for this blog?  Actually, it’s a very appropriate question when doctors are trying to pinpoint the fetal age of a baby.  Judgment of when a woman became pregnant can be inaccurate by as much as several weeks, and this can negatively affect care decisions in cases of premature births.

But, mathematics has come to the rescue!  Just last year, scientists Abbas Ourmazd and Russell Fung published their algorithm in the journal Nature, and the algorithm is now being used at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to estimate time of conception.  Thanks to funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, these academics are well on the way to pinpointing exactly when a pregnant woman had sex.

If you would like to read a little more, check out the story in Science Daily at

Physicists to use their unique tool to improve neonatal health


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