• Question: what do you think about destroying embryos for stem cells and stem cell research

    Asked by professorportaloo to Marianne on 19 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Marianne King

      Marianne King answered on 19 Jun 2019:

      This is a controversial area, especially at the moment given the new laws about abortion in some US states. I personally feel that if a woman consents to her aborted embryo being used for stem cell research then I have no issue with it. If she is happy for this to happen then I have no problem, as I feel what happens to an embryo is up to the woman carrying it alone. A lot of scientists now however are turning to stem cells called induced pluripotent stem cells. These are stem cells that can be made from human skin. It makes it a lot easier to study genetic diseases as the stem cells retain the mutation the patient has, and because they tend to come from living adult donors they’re a lot less controversial. These are the cells that we use in our lab.