Embryo research could lead to the discovery of new medical treatments that would alleviate the suffering of many people. But is it ‘playing God’? Different countries have addressed the moral dilemmas involved in embryo research very differently. Is it time for a rethink in the UK?
The Progress Educational Trust is holding a public conference RETHINKING THE ETHICS OF EMBRYO RESEARCH: GENOME EDITING, 14 DAYS AND BEYOND which will take place in London from 9.30am-5pm on Wednesday 7 December 2016.
Speakers include Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz from the University of Cambridge (leader of recent research in which human embryos were cultured in vitro for 13 days, the longest time ever achieved), Dr Kathy Niakan from the Francis Crick Institute (the first researcher licensed by the UK regulator to use genome editing in human embryo research), and former Archbishop of Cantebury, Lord George Carey.
There will also be keynote addresses by Baroness Mary Warnock who originally proposed the 14-day limit on human embryo research, and whose Warnock Report is arguably the world’s most influential analysis of the ethics of assisted reproduction and embryo research and Professor Sir Ian Wilmut, creator of Dolly the sheep, the first mammal ever cloned from an adult cell.
Conference sessions include:
• ‘THE WARNOCK REPORT AND THE 14 DAY RULE’
• ‘THE 14 DAY RULE: CALLING TIME ON EMBRYO RESEARCH’
• ‘GENOME EDITING: CRISPR AT THE CUTTING EDGE’
• ‘WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE STATUS OF THE EMBRYO?’
The conference is supported by Merck, the Anne McLaren Memorial Trust Fund, the Medical Research Council and the London Women’s Clinic, and Caribou Biosciences.
Full details of the conference, including the agenda and how to book places, can be found at http://www.progress.org.uk/conference2016
Photo: Joseph Elsbernd