British cloning scientists to pay for eggs

Women undergoing in vitro fertilization in Britain will soon be able to donate eggs for research in return for payment.

The North East England Stem Cell Institute is being allowed to ask women undergoing IVF to donate their eggs for therapeutic cloning research in return for payment for the first time, the BBC reported Thursday.

The Newcastle-based institute is investigating stem-cell therapies for diseases such as Alzheimer's, diabetes and Parkinson's. The human eggs that are donated will be used in the creation of embryos from which stem cells can be derived.

It will be the first time payment will be allowed in Britain for IVF eggs used in research, the BBC said. Previously, scientists were permitted to ask women having IVF to donate spare eggs if they produced 12 or more.

The newly approved procedure -- expected to start next year, after funding is obtained -- will allow researchers to offer couples who need IVF, but cannot afford it, the chance to have some of their care funded in return for donating eggs for research.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International


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