Q:

How did Stephen Hawking have children?

A:

Quick Answer

Stephen Hawking suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS. Although he received his diagnosis at age 21, the severity of his symptoms progressed gradually over the course of decades. Before he lost most of his lower body function because of his illness, he was able to produce three children.

Know More
How did Stephen Hawking have children?
Credit: JIM WATSON / Staff AFP Getty Images

Full Answer

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease that causes nerve cells in both the brain and spinal cord to gradually perish, which inhibits the brain's ability to control movement of muscles. However, as was the case for Stephen Hawking, the progression of the nerve cells' death can be quite slow. Paralysis typically only occurs in the later stages of ALS.

Although he was having difficulty walking and was experiencing major slurring of his speech, Hawking got married in 1965 and had his first son in 1967. In the ensuing years, his physical function began to decline even more, to the point where he was dependent on crutches and was no longer able to write. His second child, a daughter, was born around this time in 1970. Almost a decade later, over the course of which Hawking's speech and motor function continued to slowly deteriorate, Hawking's third and final child, another son, was born in 1979.

As of 2014, his condition has caused almost full paralysis and some difficulty breathing, which are consistent with the late stages of ALS.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What causes a bad odor in urine?

    A:

    Urine odor is related to the level of concentration of waste products contained in the urine. Highly concentrated urine may have strong odors, especially of ammonia, according to Mayo Clinic.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the three subphyla of the phylum Chordata?

    A:

    The three subphylums in Chordata are Vertebrata, Urochordata and Cephalochordata. Vertebrata is the largest group, including such familiar animals as fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Urochordata contains about 4,600 to 5,100 species total, and Cephalochordata contains only 28.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the ninhydrin test?

    A:

    The ninhydrin test is a colorimetric test for amines, particularly alpha-amino acids, carboxylic acids and free amino acids on simple or complex proteins. It uses the crystalline compound ninhydrin, which has the chemical name triketohydrindene hydrate, or 1,2,3-indantrione monohydrate.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a trophic structure?

    A:

    In the trophic structure, classification of organisms in an ecosystem occurs through the energy source and consumption of food by an organism. The trophic structure represents the relationship between species and food sources.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore