Currently, research on embryos is limited in many countries to a maximum period of 14 days after their fertilisation in the lab.
But ethicists Dr John Appleby of Lancaster University with Professor Dr Annelien Bredenoord of University Medical Center Utrecht believe the current limit is "no longer adequate for current scientific developments."
Dr - Appleby - Professor - Dr - Bredenoord
Dr Appleby and Professor Dr Bredenoord said: "The 14 day rule has been a very successful example of international science regulation, but it should not become a dogma in itself and it should be revisited when no longer fit to purpose."
Until recently, scientists have not been able to culture and sustain embryos in vitro as long as (or beyond) 14 days but this has now changed.
Reasons - Day - Rule - Example - Days
"There are both scientific and ethical reasons to extent the 14 day rule to for example 28 days. Extending the window for embryo research to 28 days would allow scientists to reveal a new in-depth chapter of knowledge about the developmental processes that take place in embryos."
This could help improve the safety of current IVF procedures and help doctors understand why miscarriages occur.
Reason - Emergence - Ground - Stem - Cell
Another reason is the emergence of ground breaking stem cell research leading to the creation of "organoids," which are miniature models of human organs, as well as synthetic embryos.
Synthetic embryos are cultivated in the lab from human stem cells and though they are not yet able to develop fully, recent scientific advances suggest this may eventually become possible.
Embryos - Sake - Supply - Research - Embryos
"Synthetic embryos could prove to be valuable for the sake of creating a limitless supply of research embryos, which of course poses ethical questions in itself, and also for the sake of...
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