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Bioethics

Egg-Producing Human Ovarian Stem Cells Concern Ethicists | Daily News | NCRegister.com

HUGE “yuck” factor, here.

Everyone should at least be concerned about the huge potential for harm if these oocytes are used to produce embryos.

The dogma that women inherit a fixed “bank account” of irreplaceable eggs at birth that dwindles until it expires in menopause has apparently been rendered obsolete by the team’s isolation of egg-producing stem cells from the ovarian tissue of adult women undergoing “sex-change” operations in Japan.

via Egg-Producing Human Ovarian Stem Cells Concern Ethicists | Daily News | NCRegister.com.

And there are plans to fertilize these “eggs” for experimentation:

Now it is British scientists who intend to carry out the next step of research, work that is banned from receiving federal funding in the United States: the creation of human embryos from eggs derived from those stem cells for experimentation, freezing and destruction.

“The test of an egg is to show that it can be fertilized,” said Dr. Richard Anderson of the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health at Edinburgh University, Scotland. “We see in those initial days after fertilization, in its development, if it is really an egg that can do its business.”

Anderson and his colleague, reproductive biologist Evelyn Telfer, have been working on ripening immature human eggs from adult women in vitro.  Now they are collaborating with the Harvard researchers. Anderson confirmed that they have taken preliminary steps to acquire a research license from the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority (HFEA) — the watchdog organization that grants research licenses to “fertility” clinics throughout the U.K. — to allow them to experiment on human embryos made from ovarian stem-cell-derived eggs as well as from their own artificially ripened eggs. They expect to be under way within the year.

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