Growing Human Embryos In Vitro May Lead To Ethical Dilemmas

Posted: May 5 2016, 5:22am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


Growing Human Embryos in Vitro May Lead to Ethical Dilemmas
First molecular glimpse: Molecular markers delineate the different cell types within an attached human embryo, shown here 12 days after fertilization. A structure called the epiblast, for example, is shown in green. The key developmental landmarks observed using this novel system accurately match those of normal human development, up to 12 days after fertilization.
  • Formation of Embryos in Vitro may lead to Moral Dilemmas

The formation of embryos in vitro may lead to many moral dilemmas that are not easily resolved.

Researchers have managed to grow human embryos in vitro for more than a dozen days. This beats the previous record of a little over a week.

The moment the experts are able to preserve the embryos in a live state for a fortnight, they will be able to learn more than the usual rudimentary facts about these embryos and their various biological phases and processes.

There were two groups of researchers who managed to preserve human embryos for a period of 12 and 13 days. It was a miracle in the field of advanced biology. 

The latest state-of-the-art technology was employed to achieve this task. Chemicals and a sophisticated medium were utilized to copy the conditions of a mother’s womb.

The embryos developed in these circumstances. Partially the technology enabled the embryos to attach themselves in the medium like they would in a womb.

The biggest drawback of this experiment in advancement and progress is that it raises ethical conundrums that are difficult to resolve. There are many nations around the world that keep tabs on the growing of embryos for more than the standard 14 days. 

The field of stem cell research also had its advocates advising biologists to remain within the 14 day time limit. However, we do not know what the future holds.

Maybe the limit may be extended. The 14 day time limit establishes a delicate balance between the element of scientific research and respect for other people’s points of view.

Only after 14 days do embryos become fetuses and develop such structures as a placenta. Meanwhile, there are those who say that the issue is not one to be easily buried beneath a pile of scientific jargon. 

We are talking about the difference between life and non-life here. The campaigners want to stop this unnecessary probing into matters too close for comfort.

The medical establishment will have to ponder deeply on the issue and set limits and revise its policies if it wants the public to be satisfied. The debate is an ongoing one and it will take a long time to reach a balanced judgment.

Is a human being existent right from the start in a small fetus or is it present in its full form upon conception? That is the crux of the matter. It is hoped that this research will help ease many pregnancy complications in the future.  

Two studies on this matter got published in the journal Nature.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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