Counter to prevailing policies and scientific guidelines, New York has become the first state to allow publicly funded embryonic stem-cell researchers to pay women for their eggs. It lifts a huge obstacle for research, proponents say, likening it to eggs donated for in-vitro fertilization. But the $10,000 could be used to lure and exploit vulnerable women, a “trafficking of human body parts,” critics tell the Washington Post.
Scientists want to use embryos to produce cells genetically tailored for individual patients. So-called therapeutic cloning requires that the genetic material in a human egg be switched for the patient’s genes. Researchers have yet to see whether an egg thus altered would be accepted by the host’s immune system, since they haven’t received enough donated eggs for the experiment.