RE: Releasing unfixed specimens


I was always under the impression that most animals devour the placenta in an attempt to eliminate all traces of the birth to avoid attracting predators to their helpless young.  If you raise dogs or cats, the moms will attempt to eat all the placentas, however, if you let them do that (i.e., a German Shepherd with 12 pups) - they will get quite ill.  Basically what I'm trying to say is that it's instinctive in animals - I also always assumed that cognitive human beings have the ability to think beyond primal instincts.  Apparently not.  Doesn't eating anything 'generated' by another human being go against normal human instincts?  We have mouse colonies that will cannibalize each other's tumors in vivo if the tumors get too big.  That also is instinct.  My instincts are telling me that it's Friday, and I should go home!!!  

Jacqueline M. O'Connor HT(ASCP)
Abbott Laboratories
Global Pharmaceutical Research and Development
Discovery Chemotheraputics
Fax 847.938.3266

"Smith, Allen" <>

01/17/2003 09:09 AM

        To:        "Bell, Lynne" <>
        Subject:        RE: Releasing unfixed specimens

Eating the placenta may be a way of "getting in touch with one's inner cave
woman." Most mammals eat the placenta.  Eating the placenta may also be an
attempt to speed up milk production.  I have heard a farmer say that
allowing a cow to eat the placenta supplies her with enough additional
placental lactogen to increase milk production during the first two days.
Since humans digest proteins efficiently, this may not work for humans.

Allen A. Smith, Ph.D.
Barry University
School of Graduate Medical Sciences
   Podiatric Medicine and Surgery
Miami Shores, Florida  33161-6695

-----Original Message-----
From: Bell, Lynne []
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2003 2:28 PM
To: Histonet
Subject: RE: Releasing unfixed specimens

Most of the unfixed placentas that we release here are being planted with a
tree to celebrate the birth of the child.  We also have had some requests
for placentas for eating (ick!).  Apparently they are being fried with
onions and is supposed to taste like liver (at least it doesn't taste like

Lynne Bell, HT (ASCP)
Central Vermont Hospital
Barre, VT  05641

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