Tara Sander Lee, Ph.D. and James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. | Jul 8, 2022 | 11:03AM | Washington, DC
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The purpose of this handbook is to provide a useful reference guide to understanding the biological nature and properties of nascent human beings and cells derived from nascent human beings.
The Handbook is organized by the stages of human development advancing from conception toward adulthood. At each stage of development, human beings and their cells conceived by natural processes are compared to those conceived by artificial means involving bioengineering, modification, and/or experimental manipulation. Living organisms and their cells that are produced by any type of “artificial” means does not necessarily connote that they are unnatural. Their origin and scientific inspiration are still from human organisms and/or biological functions occurring naturally in nature. Scientists have discovered diverse methods for producing both nascent human beings and cells derived from nascent human beings with the aim of scientific experimentation. Any nascent human being produced using artificial means, and the cells derived from them, have the essential nature and properties of human beings and their cells conceived by natural processes.
Human beings conceived by scientific bioengineering are no less human than those conceived by natural processes. Therefore, they have the same moral significance; and they require the same bioethics considerations before use for biomedical experimentation.
Nascent Human Beings Conceived by Natural Processes
Ovulation and Fertilization
During week 1 (days 0 to 6), an egg (oocyte) and sperm fuse effectively, and a nascent human being is conceived by a process called fertilization. The single-celled nascent human being is called a human zygote. The human zygote is also called a fertilized egg. Zygotes form naturally in the female reproductive tract when a human sperm fertilizes – fuses with – a human egg. This event restores a full-complement of human DNA in the specialized cytoplasm of the egg gamete. This is the crucial event that brings humans into being. Thereafter, given supportive nutrients and conditions, which are ideal in the human uterus, the human development program unfolds spontaneously and autonomously.
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