A Chicago IVF clinic has developed a new method of obtaining embryonic stem cells which some scientists say could bypass ethical objections. Yury Verlinsky, of the Reproductive Genetics Institute, says that his team has managed to create stem cell lines from four- day-old human embryos at the morulae stage. All previous embryonic stem cell lines have been created from older embryos at the blastocyst stage. There is only a day or two of difference in age, but it appears that stem cells can be extracted from the morulae without killing them. This raises the prospect, according to British stem cell research Peter Braude, that couples seeking IVF treatment could have one of their child’s embryonic cells removed to create a stem cell line which could be used for future medical treatment. Some scientists see this as a way of quelling ethical objections to their work.
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