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Hybrid embryos — ethics, law and rhetoric in the United Kingdom's stem cell policy

Hammond-Browning, Natasha ORCID: and Holm, Soren 2010. Hybrid embryos — ethics, law and rhetoric in the United Kingdom's stem cell policy. Contested Cells: Global Perspectives on the Stem Cell Debate, Imperial College Press, pp. 377-393. (10.1142/9781848164383_0013)

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In 2008, there was significant interest in the creation of animal-human ‘cybrid’ embryos for human embryonic stem cell research, as it had the potential to solve the problem of procuring human oocytes for research. However, recent developments in creating induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have been used by some to suggest that interest in funding research involving cybrid embryos will wane. This chapter considers the UK's policy developments on research involving animal-human embryo research (principally, inserting human nuclear DNA into an enucleated animal oocyte). In the account of the debate, the chapter focuses on the various attempts to control and alter the debate by renaming the entities that are contemplated. In the light of developments concerning iPS cells, it also discusses some common challenges in bringing iPS and hybrid cells towards clinical use. Holm and Hammond-Browning reason that the usefulness of research involving hybrid embryos may be significantly limited due to the advent of iPS cells. However, it is still too early to say whether hybrid embryo research is obsolete: such research could contribute to the perfection of methods or the discovery of alternative methods of stem cell derivation.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Law & Politics
Publisher: Imperial College Press
ISBN: 9781848164376
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2022 07:55

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