August 7, 2008

Is Dim Economy Good for Biotech Industry?

CNN reported yesterday that the dim economy is probably a primary reason for a recent increase in women wanting to sell their eggs and the upsurge in calls to fertility clinics. Cited was one young woman named Michelle who has 2 kids and in need for a way to pay for college. Like Michelle, many women, for whatever reason, are living paycheck to paycheck. Selling their eggs may provide temporary financial freedom, but it may also be the cause of serious health problems.

Right now, the biotech industry, in its pursuit to conduct embryo-destructive research (ESCR), is plagued by 2 problems, a lack of funding and a lack of eggs. And even though recent progress has been made though iPC's, embryonic stem cell research is still considered (for some reason) the "gold standard" or the "holy grail." Women like Michelle who find themselves vulnerable to this economy are easy prey for the biotech industry as it is unclear whether there are protections in place that prohibit fertility clinics from obtaining eggs to transfer to research facilities. The ban on payment for eggs in states where it exists for biotech firms ought to apply to fertility clinics as well, whether or not the science is speculative.

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