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Creating something out of nothing

13 March 2017
Appeared in BioNews 892

Last week saw an exciting breakthrough in embryology (reported elsewhere on BioNews), as stem cells from an adult mouse were used to grow a structure resembling a mouse embryo in vitro for the first time – seemingly creating something out of nothing.

If it were possible to apply this research to human embryology, it could make scientists less dependent on fertilised eggs; using in-vitro-derived embryos could speed up research and potentially assuage some ethical concerns.

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 creation of eggs and  sperm outside the body has already been selected as a theme for our Annual Conference in December.

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.

But, sadly, we can't create something out of nothing – we need to raise funds to enable us to continue publishing BioNews. So please help us reach our £4,000 target via PayPal (click here), by text (text 'PROG23 £10' or any other amount to 70070), or by post (as detailed here).

6 March 2017 - by Anna Leida 
Stem cells from an adult mouse have been used to grow a structure resembling a mouse embryo in vitro for the first time...
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