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60% of Donors Would Donate Unused Embryos for Stem Cell Research

About 50% the patients being treated at U.S. fertility clinics say they’d be willing to donate their unused embryos for stem cell research, according to a survey by the journal Science. This would mean that up to ten times as many embryos would be available for research than previously estimated, should U.S. legislators ever permit their wider use.

In response to the study findings, co-researcher Dr. Anne Drapkin Lyerly, of Duke University, said, “We were surprised. “When we asked these infertility patients about what they thought they would do with embryos, 50% said that they would be likely to donate some or all of them for research, and 60% said that they would be likely to donate them for stem cell research,” added Lyerly, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University and core faculty at Duke’s Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities and History of Medicine.

“This is a dramatic increase in what we might estimate as the number of embryos available for research purposes,” she said.

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