Scientists plead for right to create interspecies embryos

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 21 June 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1294
  1. Andrew Cole
  1. London

    A leading body of medical scientists has concluded that the creation of interspecies embryos, which are part human and part animal, is vital in the fight against a wide range of diseases.

    The Academy of Medical Sciences says there are no “substantive ethical or moral” reasons why research on human embryos containing animal material should not be carried out under exactly the same regulatory framework that exists for other work with embryos.

    This stipulates that no modified embryos should be reimplanted into a woman or animal and that none should be grown in vitro beyond 14 days.

    The academy set up a working group of leading doctors and geneticists in March to examine the situation after the government's white paper, which proposed a blanket ban on all interspecies embryo research (BMJ 2007;334:12 doi: 10.1136/bmj.39080.500648.DB), and a public consultation on hybrid research by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (BMJ 2007;334:925 doi: 10.1136/bmj.39199.669907.DB).

    The …

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