Studying Embryo Beyond 14 Days? Not So Fast, Says One Key U.K. Expert

December 9, 2016

(Science) – It’s a looming question facing biologists, ethicists, and society as a whole: Should scientists be allowed to study embryos cultured in the lab beyond 14 days after fertilization? Perhaps in the future, but not just yet, one highly influential voice said at a meeting here today. “It’s too soon,” said philosopher Mary Warnock, who chaired a committee in the 1980s that informed current regulations. “What we should do now is give people who do research the chance to exploit what they can find out between 5 and 14 days.” That will help build the case for what benefits might come from doing research on embryos older than 14 days, Warnock argued.