March 3, 2024

No need to destroy embryos, says US bioethics committee

There may be ethical ways to obtain pluripotent, genetically stable, and long-lived stem cells, says the President’s Council on Bioethics in . It has identified four such possible approaches: stem cells from dead embryos; from living embryos, by non-destructive biopsy; from bioengineered embryo-like artefacts; and from reprogrammed adult somatic cells.

The chairman of the council, Dr Leon Kass, says that the proposals deserve the nation’s — and especially its scientists’ — “careful and serious consideration”. But since they are all unusual alternatives to the use of a readily available resource, they are unlikely to be welcomed by most stem cell scientists.