Scientists have created Britain’s first ‘virgin conception’ embryos using a technique that could yield a new source of stem cells, sparking a new ethical row
Case (20 Marks)
Scientists have created Britain’s first ‘virgin conception’ embryos using a technique that could yield a new source of stem cells, sparking a new ethical row. They were made without using sperm or any outside genetic material – making the clones of the women who donated the eggs involved. The news, from the centre that cloned Dolly the sheep, came just a day after Newcastle scientists who won the go-ahead to create a human embryo with two genetic mothers. It raises the concern that the same technique could be
used to produce a cloned baby. The team took eggs donated by women undergoing sterilization and stimulated them to start dividing, as if they had been fertilized. Some grew into embryos created without any addition of new genetic material, either from male sperm or a clone donor. Each embryo only contained about 50 cells which could never be used to make a baby. But scientists hope that in future, embryos made by the process – known as parthenogenesis – may be minded for valuable stem cells. Those taken from early embryos have the potential to become any part of the body, from bones to brains. Scientists hope in future they will form the basis of revolutionary new treatments for conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and failing hearts. Dr.Paul de Sousa, who is leading the research, told the BA Festival of Science at Trinity College, Dublin: “At the moment, we have not managed to get stem cells from these embryos, and that continues to be our ambition.” He said the embryos would never be implanted into anyone’s womb. “We have consent for research purpose only.” Parthenogenesis has been suggested as a more ethically acceptable way of harvesting embryonic stem cells.
Answer the following question.
Q1. What are the unethical issues involved in the above case.
Q2. What was the ambition of scientist? Explain in detail.
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