Last week, I attended the “Growing a Human Part” talk at the Royal Institution, with talks by John Gurdon and Helen Blau. You can read the announcement on the Node, and find the summary below in my collected tweets.
The audience at the talks was quite diverse. There was a class of high school students, and many regular attendees of RI public events. Both speakers did a great job of explaining the basics of stem cell research and the state of the field of regenerative medicine.
At the end of the evening, John Gurdon had an ethical, philosophical question for the audience. Paraphrased, the question was as follows:
Suppose a six-month-old baby dies in an accident. Skin cells of the baby are saved and frozen. Assume that the parents can’t have any more children of their own, and that there are no technological barriers to human cloning. Would you be in support of the parents using the skin cells of their dead child to generate a “twin”?
You can read below (in the Storify) how the audience answered, but what do you think?