Y’all didn’t seriously think a little thing like my husband’s left hip surgery would stop me, did you?
Human Reproduction, a peer-reviewed, high impact journal of research and opinion concerning “the scientific and medical aspects of reproductive physiology and pathology, endocrinology, andrology, gonad function, gametogenesis, fertilization, embryo development, implantation, pregnancy, genetics, genetic diagnosis, oncology, infectious disease, surgery, contraception, infertility treatment, psychology, ethics and social issues” (free, full text online in advance of pulishing) has published the following definition of a human embryo:
The following biological definition of ‘human embryo’ is proposed.
A human embryo is a discrete entity that has arisen from either:
(i) the first mitotic division when fertilization of a human oocyte by a human sperm is complete or
(ii) any other process that initiates organized development of a biological entity with a human nuclear genome or
altered human nuclear genome that has the potential to develop up to, or beyond, the stage at which the primitive
and has not yet reached 8 weeks of development since the first mitotic division.
There is “insufficient information whether the entities derived by parthenogenesis, gametogenesis using pronuclear DNA from two parents, and several SCNT and Chimera scenarios which – prior to their creation – have had the ability to implant removed from the genome. However, the entity would be covered by the definition if the manipulation can be said to have “the potential to develop up to, or beyond, the stage at which the primitive streak appears.”
I would think that this definition would cover most of the most troublesome aspects involving regenerative medicine or destructive human embryo technique. The uncertain cases would need to be proven to not be human embryos, through animal models, or for the more unethical, actual experiments using human DNA.
Let’s hear no more about “early” stem cells, or “there’s no sperm(!)” or “there’s no potential to form a human baby/person/be implanted in a uterus,” etc.
Thank you Human Reproduction, for making this article available free. The tables, showing the need for human oocytes and the sources of DNA and cytoplasmic (oocyte) material necessary for the production of each class, are invaluable.