Lauren Arora Hutchinson, host of playing god?, joined the Berman Institute in June 2022 as the inaugural director of the Dracopoulos-Bloomberg iDeas Lab. She was previously a BBC journalist, award-winning audio storyteller,…
In this episode we head into the future to learn about a controversial technology that could change the face of reproduction. Researchers are developing a technology called in vitro gametogenesis (IVG), which can reprogram human cells–like a skin cell–to become eggs or sperm. With IVG we could reach a future where anyone could produce either eggs or sperm, in potentially limitless quantities. This could open up a whole world of new options for how humans reproduce. Startup companies are working to bring this science to the public in ways that bypass the usual research routes for new reproductive technologies. When would it be ethically acceptable to try IVG to make a baby? How can we ensure the technology will be used ethically, including how it should be regulated?
This episode features interviews with:
Amander Clark, Professor, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Los Angeles
I. Glenn Cohen, James A. Attwood and Leslie Williams Professor of Law, Deputy Dean and Faculty Director, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology & Bioethics, Harvard Law School
In 2023, the National Academies held a meeting to discuss the scientific, ethical, and legal implications of IVG. You can watch this meeting and learn more about IVG here.
To learn more about the ethics issues raised in this episode, visit the Berman Institute’s episode guide.
The Greenwall Foundation seeks to make bioethics integral to decisions in health care, policy, and research. Learn more at greenwall.org.