Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
Kian Boon Tay and his wife Linda got an early Christmas present delivered-literally-by three members of the Campus Police Department.
Mr. Tay, a mathematics graduate student from Singapore, was taking Linda to Brigham and Women's Hospital from their Eastgate apartment on the morning of December 15, as she was ready to give birth to their second child. But her labor proceeded faster than either of them expected, necessitating a call to campus police from a phone off the building's lobby. Patrolmen Robert Molino and Kevin O'Connor and EMT Daniel Conceison arrived on the scene, and within 15 minutes, so did 8-pound, 7-ounce Jonathan.
The baby was born with the amniotic sac still intact, so the officers had to cut it so he could breathe. One they did so, "he turned pink and started crying," Ofc. Molino recalled. Mother and child were taken to Brigham and Women's in the MIT ambulance and were discharged after a short stay.
Although none of the officers has children of his own, their training and the obstetrical equipment they had on hand stood them in good stead. "I was extremely nervous, but then after it was all over, I was really excited," Ofc. O'Connor said.
As a result of their efforts, the three men were awarded letters of commendation by Chief of Police Anne P. Glavin.
"They were absolutely fantastic-so professional, so kind," said Eastgate manager Theresa O'Connor (no relation to Kevin). She made the call to Campus Police while her assistant Phyllis Nelson helped with the delivery.
Noting that campus police most often respond to reports of crimes or injuries, Mr. Conceison said, "It's just nice to be part of something like this for a change."
"As far as I'm concerned, that's my Christmas gift," said Ofc. Molino, who carried Jonathan in the ride to the hospital. "It was magical."
A version of this article appeared in the January 5, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 38, Number 18).