Okay, actually Karen Kaplan wrote much of it. A news report out of California stresses the fact that the scientists are asking for more new embryos to be used in embryonic stem cell research. So, the State that’s pretty much tied in to embryonic research due to their own votes has more troubles than funding. The funding to create new embryos carries the need for further regulation on how to to get the eggs to make them and the hassles with the WARF patents on embryonic stem cells.
Cloning seems to be interconnected with embryonic stem cell research according to the researchers in California. Since we learned from the Korean veterinarian that it takes more than 2200 oocytes to clone a human embryo, Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, is going out of his way to remind us that, “Without eggs, there’s no research.”
From the LA Times (requires free registration):
UC San Francisco researcher Renee Reijo Pera has a well-equipped laboratory, generous funding and an ample staff of scientists working to create new lines of embryonic stem cells.
She has everything she needs to do cutting-edge work except one thing: fresh human eggs.
While the world debates the morality of stem cell research, scientists are grappling with a more basic issue — a shortage of eggs that they say is crippling their work.
“Without eggs, there’s no research,” said Dr. Robert Lanza, medical director of the biotechnology company Advanced Cell Technology Inc.
Researchers have so far complied with the payment restrictions, but the shortage has become so acute that some scientists are beginning to contest the ethical underpinnings of the status quo.
“We need to make a decision: Do you want the research to proceed or not?” Lanza said.
Here’s a quote from a Texas researcher from my Alma Mater, who evidently went out to California to testify:
The controversy prompted the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s ethics committee to revisit the issue. The panel concluded that if it was permissible for fertility patients to pay women for their eggs, stem cell researchers should be able to do so too.
“Regardless of the application of the eggs, the process was still the same,” said the committee’s chairman, Dr. Robert G. Brzyski, a reproductive endocrinologist at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.