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Did scientists really just create new life from stem cells?

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Controversial process bypasses eggs and sperm.

Medical researchers say they have created an embryo from stem cells, without the need for an egg or sperm. Researchers conducted their experiment using mice, and say it could be used to create embryo clones for future testing. 

Scientists have discovered how to use stem cells to clone embryos.

Scientists have discovered how to use stem cells to clone embryos.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
5/3/2018 (5 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: stem cells, cloning, ethics, embryos, life

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Scientists from the University of Maastricht have created embryos in mice using stem cells instead of eggs and sperm. Lead researcher Professor Nicholas Rivron explained that the current embryos were not viable, but that a viable mouse embryo could be created in about three year's time. 

Researchers want to find a way to create embryos for testing purposes. At present, it is virtually impossible to get human embryos for research due to ethical considerations. Also, embryos whether in humans or mice are highly variable, no two are exactly alike. By creating them using stem cells, they can be cloned which provides the uniformity necessary for scientific research. 

However, the use of human embryos is controversial and considered unethical since life begins at conception. -- Although these new embryos would be created from stem cells without conventional conception. 

Rivron said he opposes the use of this technique for future human reproduction, that is using stem cells instead of eggs and sperm to make babies. Such technology could theoretically be used to create an unlimited number of human clones. The book 'Brave New World' explores one scenario in which similar technology is used to create a highly-stratified, highly controlled, hedonistic society. 

Professor Rivron said such ability is at least two decades away. 

The research on mice could allow scientists to study fertility issues and embryonic development. It could help to prevent miscarriages in humans. But as with all such research, the possibilities are almost limitless, and it can be used to perpetuate greate evil. 

While some may claim this work represents the creation of new life from non-life, this is false. The stem cells are already living when they are used to create embryos. In fact, stem cells are first created as a product of conception. However, stem cells are also created throughout an organism's lifetime, but in diminishing quantities, which is key to understanding aging. As an organism ages, the number of stem cells it has decreases. Still, these stem cells can be extracted and replicated in a lab. They can then be manipulated into almost anything. They can be used to regenerate tissue, and theoretically could be used to grow new organs or even new beings

The process works because it is DNA that is responsible for life. It's the DNA that replicates. The egg and sperm are simply vehicles that deliver and facilitate the combination of DNA in the egg to create new life. As long as the right combination of DNA occurs in the proper environment, life can be created, even without the vehicles of egg and sperm. 

The problem is that life begins at conception. Given that fact, each embryo, regardless of how it is created, whether from eggs and sperm or cloned from stem cells, is still a human life. Any research done on these embryos would be research done on humans, and since an embryo cannot give consent, and since most or all would be destroyed, the research is inherently unethical; it would be evil. 

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