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Cambridge Reproduction


In 2023, several stories about stem-cell-based embryo models hit the news, resulting in headlines such as: “Synthetic human embryo made without sperm or an egg”, “Most advanced synthetic human embryo models yet spark controversy”, “Advances in synthetic embryos leave legislators needing to catch up” and “‘Chilling’: Experts react to synthetic human embryos created in a lab”.

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These cutting-edge models of early human development have wide-reaching potential in infertility treatment and in understanding developmental disorders, pregnancy complications and miscarriage. But as stem-cell-based embryo models become increasingly more sophisticated, they raise big questions: How do we define a human embryo, and what should be the limits of such research? How can we ensure that these decisions are made as fairly, and with as broad a base of public understanding and support, as possible?



From 5pm: Explore our exhibition and chat to researchers.

Come and see our exhibition about research involving human embryos and embryo models, and meet some of the Cambridge researchers involved.

Starting at 6pm:

Join our panel of experts in law, sociology and science for a lively debate about these and other questions around the future of stem-cell-based embryo models.

Speakers include:

  • Dr Peter Rugg-Gunn (Babraham Institute)
  • Professor Sarah Franklin (Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge)
  • Professor Kathy Liddell (Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge).

We welcome you to stay on after the event to look round the exhibition and continue the discussions over drinks and nibbles.

This event is supported by the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute Public Engagement Fund.


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Sunday, 17 March, 2024 - 17:00 to 20:00
Event location: 
Location: The Pitt Building Trumpington Street, CB2 1RP