Call it a page from a horror story or a scene from some dystopian sci-fi movie, but it’s coming to life in a biotechnology lab soon. Scientists in Israel are set to grow human embryos so they can be used to obtain organs for medical transplants and other health problems.

Earlier this month, an Israeli biotech company Renewal Bio claimed success in growing mouse embryos in the lab using stem cell technology and “artificial wombs.” The mouse embryos remained alive until developing beating hearts and the beginnings of a brain. MIT Technology Review reported on this development in the first week of August. The story cited one named Bernard Siegel asking, “What mammal could be next?”

The answer is here already and it’s none other than humans. They plan to apply the same research to grow human embryos in labs. Jacob Hanna, the founder of Renewal Bio, was cited expressing his enthusiasm about the potential of the project’s implications:

The embryo is the best organ-making machine and the best 3D bioprinter—we tried to emulate what it does.

Renewal Bio bragged about the project’s mission of making humanity “younger and healthier” with this leap in research on cultivating human life. They are calling it “synthetic embryos” and thus claiming that it’s free from ethical issues. The New York Post cited Hanna:

In Israel and many other countries, such as the US and the UK, it is legal and we have ethical approval to do this with human-induced pluripotent stem cells.

While mainstream media seems somewhat disinterested in highlighting the story, those that did chose not to raise ethical questions surrounding this proposed plan of starting a farm of lab babies to harvest their organs. 

But conservative news sources expressed the moral concerns over the biotech program. LifeSite News called the research project a real-life scene from the 2005 dystopian movie The Island, which is about human clones raised for the purpose of organ harvesting. The story described the project as:

A small-scale version of what the villains did in The Island—bringing new human beings into existence for the explicit purpose of pillaging them for their parts to sustain other, older human beings. 

The Rio Times wrote that Renewal Bio is crossing ethical and religious boundaries in pursuit of new technologies, and questioned the honesty of the tech’s claim that the research was only about renewing human health. The publication also questioned the biotech’s use of the term “synthetic embryos”:

According to the researchers, the so-called “synthetic embryos” are created without sperm, eggs, or a uterus and kept alive until a particular stage.  

Paul Knoepfler, well-known author and biologist at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine, tweeted that the risks of assuming secrecy to “not freak people out” is way more risky than the alleged benefits of Renewal Bio’s human embryos project.

In his article n The Niche, Professor Knoepfler wondered why the Israeli tech company named the United States as its main target market for the embryo-derived organs. He also reminded how his warnings in 2016 about human cloning research going rogue were ignored only to come true later. The professor went on to say that he is not okay with tissue harvesting-focused commercialization of human embryo/fetus modeling in the lab. 

One thought on “Israeli Scientists Will Grow Human Embryos for Organ Harvesting”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.