A U.S. research team has developed a method for creating stem cell lines without destroying human embryos by removing a single cell, leaving the embryo intact. If the technique proves to be effective, it should deflate the nonsense rhetoric of right-wing strategists who argue that the surplus embryos used by scientists?destined for disposal anyway?should not be used for lifesaving research.
Using spare human IVF embryos, the researchers removed single cells from them, employing the same procedure used for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), a technique that has been used in IVF so cells can be removed from the embryo and tested for genetic disorders.
The process, said the team, leaves the embryo intact, enabling it to continue and grow into a healthy foetus.
Of the 16 embryos used, they developed two long-term stem cell lines, which, Professor Lanza said, were “genetically normal and able to generate all of the cell types of the body”.