Question: As we have now covered at different points in the class, there are multiple sources of artificial gametes. This includes germline stem cells, such as spermatagonial stems cells in male testes, oogonial stem cells in the ovaries of women, and both male and female gametes generated from pluripotent stem cells, such as iPSCs. In addition, recent work has demonstrated the feasibility, in principle, of an artificial womb.
The article presented above discusses the range of ethical issues surrounding the use of the artificial womb, and to a lesser extent, combining this with artificial gametes. Thinking through the combination of 1) the generation of artificial gametes; 2) the ability to genome edit these gametes; and 3) the capability of developing these into human beings in an environment completely outside of the body, careful consideration must be made regarding the possible trajectory and the consequences of these advances.
Using the information you have gained in other sections of this course as well as in the article above, describe some of the potential benefits of these advanced technologies, as well as potential negative consequences. How should we, as a society, reasonable apply these or make these available? Are there situations where these are not to be used versus situations where withholding these would be unjust? Do some of the ethical arguments presented in the article regarding the artificial womb hold in reference to artificial gametes as well?