Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Spanish Researchers Want to Tag Human Embryos With Bar Codes

In futuristic movies like “Aliens 2″ and “12 Monkeys,” prisoners are bar coded for easy identification. But today’s reality is even wilder: Scientists have proposed bar-coding embryos.

Researchers from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Spain have just finished testing a method for imprinting microscopic bar codes on mouse embryos — a procedure they plan to test soon on humans. The venture is meant to avoid mismatches during in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer procedures. But privacy experts and children’s rights advocates were instantly concerned by the concept of “direct labeling” of embryos, calling for transparency in the process.'


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