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9 May 2016
Appeared in BioNews 850

This week has seen a breakthrough in human embryology (reported elsewhere on BioNews), as scientists have developed human embryos through early post-implantation stages for first time. This has allowed them to analyse key stages of human embryo development up to 13 days after fertilisation.

This type of research and its ethical, social and legal implications sit firmly within the scope of BioNews, and within the public engagement and policy work of the Progress Educational Trust (PET). The validity of the 14-day limit on human embryo research – originally proposed by PET's patron Mary Warnock more than 30 years ago, and long since enshrined in UK law – has already been called into question in light of this week's developments.

It is vital that questions such as this are discussed in BioNews by a range of commentators. We strongly believe that we should give a platform to a variety of people – whether we agree with them or not – so that our readers can assess different arguments and draw their own conclusions about challenging issues.

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