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Embryonic Stem Cell–Derived Gametes and Genetic Parenthood: A Problematic Relationship


The recent success in generating live offspring from embryonic stem cell (ESC) –derived gametes in mice sparked visions of growing tailor-made sperm for men faced with infertility. However, although this development will almost certainly lead to new insights into the processes underlying spermatogenesis and thus in the possible causes of male infertility, it is less certain if deriving sperm from ES cells, which are in turn derived from a sterile man, can make someone a genetic parent. As the gap between newly envisioned reproductive technologies and natural reproduction widens, the question thus needs to be asked if these possible therapies still lead to genetic parenthood.

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Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
  • ISSN: 0963-1801
  • EISSN: 1469-2147
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-quarterly-of-healthcare-ethics
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