Growing the human embryo up to 14 days


Exciting advances, but with immense ethical issues. Scientists can now culture and watch human embryos developing beyond the week or 10 day maximum that was possible previously. After a week or so, a blastocyte implants into the uterus and that was the point up to which observations were possible. Now there is a way to successfully culture the embryos as if they had implanted, and watch them develop. Legally a limit for research into embryos was set at 14 days, at which point the embryo is considered a living human being but there is now pressure to extend this limit.

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