Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence

Memorandum 41

Submission from the Academy of Medical Sciences

  Following the publication of the Government's Command Paper "Review of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act: Proposals for revised legislation", the Academy of Medical Sciences has been consulting within its Fellowship on the issue of research on embryos involving both animal and human material.

  The Academy has now convened a working group, chaired by Professor Martin Bobrow CBE FRS FMedSci, to consider this issue directly. In addition to examining definitions of hybrid and chimera embryos, this group will identify key research opportunities in the field, together with an assessment of how these opportunities are balanced by safety and ethical concerns. Following an initial meeting in early March, the working group will publish its output later in the Spring. Representatives from the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council will attend the working group meetings as observers.

  Unfortunately, the Academy is therefore unable to submit substantial evidence to the current Select Committee Inquiry. However, we would direct the Committee to our response to the 2005 Department of Health consultation on the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Act.

January 2007

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