An interesting discussion among researchers and ethicists continues to percolate on the subject of human embryo experiments. Parthenogenesis (literally, "virgin birth") is a process by which "an egg is finessed into developing without the help of sperm," thereby creating an unfertilized "human" embryo. Researchers looking to experiment on human embryos claim that parthenogenetically created embryos may alleviate religious and ethical concerns about human embryo destruction, which is to say, they regard such embryos as not human. (Currently, U.S. law does not agree.) This, of course, leads one to ask how ought we to define and consider the unfertilized but now developing human embryo? A particular mantra has been been "life begins at conception." What happens when conception does not occur?
Recent findings and a synopsis of the debate are reported here.