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San Diego’s embryo bank raises provacative issues

Ethicists say the formation of what's believed to be the country's first public embryo bank raises some provocative issues. The San Diego bank, called the Stem Cell Resource, is collecting donated human embryos for possible distribution to researchers worldwide. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

The Stem Cell Resource has received more than 850 donated embryos. Resource scientists have reportedly already used some of the donations to develop a new stem cell line.

Michael Kalichman directs the Research Ethics Program at the UCSD School of Medicine. He says it's hard for donors to know exactly what will happen with their embryos.

Kalichman: Once you have a donated embryo, and you for example derive stem cell lines from that embryo, it's virtually impossible in advance to anticipate all possible uses.

Even so, Resource scientists say their consent procedures conform to current standards. New ethical guidelines regarding stem cell research are under development. Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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