News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Ben Birchall/PA Wire
UK News

Look beyond the motherless egg hype, urges Christian bioethics expert

The warning comes after scientists are the University of Bath used research on mice to prove how, in principle, viable embryos can be created from non-egg cells, such as skin cells.

Senior bioethics consultant at the Christian charity CARE, Philippa Taylor, said: "[The researchers are] not using eggs, so they have made a step beyond that but they are so far off creating anything beyond what is affectively a very young embryo."

A team led by molecular embryologist Dr Tony Perry, bypassed the normal process of fertilising an egg with sperm to produce healthy, fertile mice offspring.

Newcastle University

Dr Perry said: "Our work challenges the dogma, held since early embryologists first observed mammalian eggs around 1827 and observed fertilisation 50 years later, that only an egg cell fertilised with a sperm cell can result in live mammalian birth."

Underlining how significant obstacles would need to be overcome before reproduction without egg cells is technically feasible, he added: "This is speculative - it's entirely speculative and fanciful."

Philippa Taylor from CARE added: "I would have huge ethical concerns about a whole range of issues around this, like the whole business about manipulating and playing around with embryos.

"Of course, the media headlines are wanting to sell papers and it sounds very real and likely but if scientists aren't careful and if they overhype too much, the public become more and more sceptical and then it makes it harder from scientists in the longer-term when they have genuinely good research."

Pictures are for illustration only

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £8 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £8 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.