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Right to Recover ~ Winning the Political and Religious Wars Over Stem Cell Research in America presents scientific facts that challenge readers to think for themselves rather than accept political or religious views on stem cell research.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Not all fertilized eggs are embryos

When nature’s typical course is followed and in vitro procedures are not incorporated, the fertilization of an egg, its implantation into the uterine lining (conception), and the resulting pregnancy is a smooth developmental process that will produce an embryo.

The in vitro fertilization is not a process of nature. It is a man-made, scientifically-modified process that unites the sperm and the egg in an environment outside the body. While living cells exist in a blastocyst, the development that must continue in order to carry the cells into fetal stages is not possible unless the blastocyst is introduced to a uterus and nature picks up the cue to begin the process of implantation and subsequent development of an embryo.

Even in the natural process of human reproduction, an embryo does not always develop as a result of fertilization. I am referring to a complete molar pregnancy. This genetic accident
occurs when the sperm fertilizes an egg that is either missing its nucleus or where the nucleus is inactive. Even though the egg is fertilized, there is no embryo, no placenta, no fluid, and no amniotic membranes. There is only a mass of cysts that resemble a bunch
of grapes.

So what does a molar pregnancy have to do with stem cell research? It shows that just because an egg is fertilized, it does not necessarily mean that an embryo has formed.

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