Select Page

From the files of Dr Dianne Irving …..

FYI — short list of references from studies recently published in PubMed concerning the endorsement and use of cloning by "embryo splitting" as "infertility treatments, and the push by lawyers to change and deconstruct the critical and accurate scientific terms of human embryology in law for "new practices and new times". 

With these new fabricated "scientific" terms, the public won't even be able to tell what kinds of human embryo research, human cloning, human genetic engineering, or "infertility treatments" they are doing any more. 

Please pass on to interested others. 

The term "abortion" no longer involves only sexually reproduced human embryos, and the term "cloning" no longer involves only the SCNT cloning technique.
In fact, neither have been true for some time now. — DNI
—  “Embryo-splitting” endorsed for “infertility treatments:

The American Medical Association has recently renewed its position on the use of "embryo splitting" (i.e., a form of cloning) as infertility treatments.  FYI, I have copied the URL for this latest report, as well as the URL provided there for the original 1994 report which has been serially updated.  — DNI



Code of Medical Ethics (Sept 21, 2009)

Opinion 2.145 – Pre-embryo Splitting (a summary) [[note the use of the erroneous scientific term “pre-embryo”]]

This Report provides a hyperlink to the original 1994 report that explains “blastomere separation” and “blastocyst splitting” in IVF facilities for “infertility treatments”:

CEJA Report 1-I-94

Recent medical developments have enabled scientific researchers to split human pre-embryos into genetically identical sibling embryos.  …  The first two techdniques involve the procedure of “splitting” or “twinning” embryos.  “Blastomere separation” involves the division of a four-cell or eight-cell pre-embryo into the individual totipotent cells (blastomeres), or groups of such cells, which comprise it.  … The splitting of blastocysts … is referred to as “embryo splitting”.  In this technique, a blastocyst is bisected into two multicellular groups of non-totipotent cells, each of which is nurtured to encourage further development.  …  The technique of splitting in vitro fertilized pre-embryos may result in multiple genetically identical siblings.  The procedure of pre-embryo splitting should be available so long as both gamete providers agree.  This procedure may significantly increase the chances of conception for an infertile couple or for a couple whose future reproductive capacity will likely be diminished.

American Medical Association

“Section 61.  Pre-embryo Splitting”

Dec, 1994



 —  Twinning for "infertility treatments"


Human embryo twinning with applications in reproductive medicine

Illmensee K, Levanduski M, Vidali A, Husami N, Goudas VT

OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy of human embryo twinning by blastomere biopsy at different early embryonic stages (splitting efficiency) and to determine the in vitro developmental capacity of twinned human embryos (developmental efficiency). DESIGN: Randomized comparative study. SETTING: Private IVF centers. PATIENT(S): Couples undergoing IVF donating triploid embryos. INTERVENTION(S): Embryos at the 2- to 5- and 6- to 8-cell stage were split into twin embryos. Half the number of blastomeres from donor embryos were removed and inserted into recipient empty zonae pellucidae. After embryo splitting, donor and recipient embryos were cultured in vitro. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Development of twinned embryos to the blastocyst stage. RESULT(S): The number of developing embryos obtained after splitting could be increased in comparison with the number of embryos available before splitting at the 6- to 8-cell stage but not at the 2- to 5-cell stage (splitting efficiency). Splitting of 6- to 8-cell embryos yielded superior rates of twin embryos developing to blastocysts (developmental efficiency). Twinning success was related to the superior morphological quality of embryos used for splitting. CONCLUSION(S): This is the first report on twinned human embryos developing to blastocysts. This study exhibits the potential for novel applications in human assisted reproduction.

PMID: 19217091;   Fertil Steril. 2009 Feb 11.



 —  Proving some cells of the early human embryo are totipotent, form new embryos


Van de Velde H, Cauffman G, Tournaye H, Devroey P, Liebaers I


The four blastomeres of a 4-cell stage human embryo are able to develop individually into blastocysts with inner cell mass and trophectoderm


Research Centre Reproduction and Genetics, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel (UZ Brussel), Laarbeeklaan 101, 1090 Brussels, Belgium. [email protected]

BACKGROUND: Early mammalian blastomeres are thought to be flexible and totipotent allowing the embryo to overcome perturbations in its organization during preimplantation development. In the past, experiments using single blastomeres from 2-, 4- and 8-cell stage mammalian embryos have provided evidence that at least some of the isolated cells can develop into healthy fertile animals and therefore are totipotent. We investigated whether isolated blastomeres of human 4-cell stage embryos could develop in vitro into blastocysts with trophectoderm (TE) and inner cell mass (ICM). METHODS: Six 4-cell stage human embryos were split and the four blastomeres were cultured individually. The expression of NANOG, a marker for ICM cells, was analysed by immunocytochemistry. RESULTS: The majority of the blastomere-derived embryos followed the normal pattern of development with compaction on Day 4 and cavitation on Day 5 and developed into small blastocysts with TE and ICM on Day 6 (n = 12). The four cells of one embryo were individually capable of developing into blastocysts with TE and ICM, and NANOG was expressed in the ICM. CONCLUSIONS: Although based on a small number of embryos, we conclude that the blastomeres of a 4-cell stage human embryo are flexible and able to develop into blastocysts with ICM and TE.

PMID: 18503052

Hum Reprod. 2008 Aug;23(8):1742-7. Epub 2008 May 24





—  Proving mix of
totipotency and pluripotency in cells of early human embryo


Human embryonic stem cell lines derived from single blastomeres of two 4-cell stage embryos.

Geens M, Mateizel I, Sermon K, De Rycke M, Spits C, Cauffman G, Devroey P, Tournaye H, Liebaers I, Van de Velde H.

Department of Embryology and Genetics (EMGE), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Laarbeeklaan 101, 1090 Brussels, Belgium.

BACKGROUND Recently, we demonstrated that single blastomeres of a 4-cell stage human embryo are able to develop into blastocysts with inner cell mass and trophectoderm. To further investigate potency at the 4-cell stage, we aimed to derive pluripotent human embryonic stem cells (hESC) from single blastomeres. METHODS Four 4-cell stage embryos were split on Day 2 of preimplantation development and the 16 blastomeres were individually cultured in sequential medium. On Day 3 or 4, the blastomere-derived embryos were plated on inactivated mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). RESULTS Ten out of sixteen blastomere-derived morulae attached to the MEFs, and two produced an outgrowth. They were mechanically passaged onto fresh MEFs as described for blastocyst ICM-derived hESC, and shown to express the typical stemness markers by immunocytochemistry and/or RT-PCR. In vivo pluripotency was confirmed by the presence of all three germ layers in the teratoma obtained after injection in immunodeficient mice. The first hESC line displays a mosaic normal/abnormal 46, XX, dup(7)(q33qter), del(18)(q23qter) karyotype. The second hESC line displays a normal 46, XY karyotype. CONCLUSION We report the successful derivation and characterization of two hESC lines from single blastomeres of four split 4-cell stage human embryos. These two hESC lines were derived from distinct embryos, proving that at least one of the 4-cell stage blastomeres is pluripotent.

Hum Reprod. 2009 Jul 24. [Epub ahead of print]

PMID: 19633307 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]




—  Human embryo in law should be defined as just a "group of cells"


de Miguel Beriain I

Cátedra Interuniversitaria Fundación BBVA, Diputación Foral de Bizkaia de Derecho y Genoma Humano, Universidad de Deusto-Universidad del País Vasco, Bilbao, España.


The human embryo after Dolly: new practices for new times

The possiblity of cloning human beings introduced a lot of issues in our ethical and legal frameworks. In this paper, we will put the focus into the necessary changes in the concept of embryo that our legal systems will have to implement in order to face the new situation. The description of the embryo as a group of cells able to develop into a human being will be defended here as the best way of doing so.

PMID: 19334406




 — Need for legally redefining everything about the "human embryo"

Law article that attempts to redefine the human embryo.  Unreal.