Now you can have your embryo and donate it to stem cell science too. A team of researchers has proven that it's possible to harvest one cell from an early-stage embryo called a blastocyst without harming the developing creature. In other words, no unborn babies have to be harmed to create stem cells. One day, parents who need a little extra money can even sell a few embryonic cells from their developing tots to start their college funds. Here's how it works.
According to an article in Scientific American:
The [research] group says the embryos survived the removal of a blastomere [cell] or two and grew normally to the 10-cell stage 80 percent of the time, the same rate as untouched IVF (in vitro fertilization) embryos. IVF doctors routinely take single cells from embryos to check for genetic diseases before implanting them in the womb. "If we base this on objective scientific criteria, there's no evidence that removing a single blastomere harms the embryo," says Robert Lanza, ACT's chief scientific officer. The frozen embryos were set to be discarded by IVF clinics, but donor couples instead consented to their use for research.
OK, let's start some new, guilt-free stem cell lines!
Embryos Survive Stem Cell Harvest [Scientific American]