Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Therapies

When most think of embryos, they image a very small baby, with all fingers and toes, one with a face and organs.  However, most may not realize there are different stages to the embryo.  One of the first stages is called Blastocyte.  In this stage, the researchers extract the stem cells from the embryo.  Blastocytes are about 4-5 days old and consist of a mass of about 100 cells before they begin to differentiate.  Meaning, the cells have not been dedicated to a particular tissue.  Blastocytes used for this research are fertilized in-vitro in a fertitilty clinic and then donated when the parents have completed their family and the fertilitized eggs are no longer needed.  All donors are well educated and understand the full scope of the research.

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