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The professional society for stem cell researchers that writes its own rules has decided to toss ethical restrictions related to human embryo experiments. Church Militant's Kristine Christlieb sorts out the science for us.
Always claiming their experiments will reduce human suffering and disease, the stem cell scientists are lifting restrictions on previously banned procedures.
Scientists in the Society had been observing the 14-day rule.
Sandy Starr: "That an embryo cannot be cultured in the laboratory for more than 14 days from the time it is created through fertilization.”
But scientists want to experiment on embryos past the 14-day limit, so they have moved those kinds of experiments from the category-three experiments that are banned to category-two experiments that require oversight.
Robin Lovell-Badge: "That would have to include an assessment: Is the science valid: Is it using the minimum number of embryos possible, the minimum culture period possible, to give you the scientific results that you're after? So it would be conditional on both those things."
Scientists are fully aware they are experimenting with human life; that's why they are claiming stringent oversight.
This group of scientists also provides guidelines for experiments that merge human cells with animals to produce what are called chimeras, but their guidelines are voluntary, so rogue labs and rogue nations can just ignore them. Representative Chris Smith, R-N.J., and Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., introduced legislation last week that would prohibit research involving human-animal chimeras.