Growing embryos from skin cells: Could it replace in vitro fertilization?

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[In the process called in vitro gametogenesis,] adult cells, such as skin cells, can be reprogrammed to behave like embryonic stem cells and…can be stimulated to grow into eggs or sperm, which in turn are used to form an embryo for implantation into an adult womb.

Though most scientists agree we’re still a long way off from doing it clinically, it’s a promising technology that has the potential to replace traditional in vitro fertilization to treat infertility.

[A] potential benefit with IVG is that there is no need for a woman to receive high doses of fertility drugs to retrieve her eggs, as with traditional IVF.

In addition, same-sex couples would be able to have biological children, and people who lost their gametes through cancer treatments…would have a chance at having biological children.

There are growing calls among researchers for regulators to revisit the “14-day rule,” an international agreement…that says an embryo can’t be maintained in culture longer than two weeks…Some see the rule as essentially a moral compromise between researchers and those who believe that destroying embryos is murder.

We may be more likely to see the first human IVG experiments performed in Asia, because laws are generally less restrictive there, according to George Daley, [a professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School].

 

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Could we one day make babies from only skin cells?