Liane Russell, Who Studied Radiation’s Effects on Embryos, Dies at 95 – The New York Times

Her findings led to cautions against X-rays for pregnant women. She also discovered that the presence of the Y chromosome meant a mammalian embryo was male.

Hybrid human–chicken embryos illuminate key developmental milestone

Researchers try to get around restrictions on human embryo research by creating human/chicken chimera embryos that are not technically human.

Coloured scanning electron micrograph of human embryonic stem cells

A new technique reveals the earliest stages of human development without the need for human embryos.

Source: Hybrid human–chicken embryos illuminate key developmental milestone

A New Form of Stem-Cell Engineering Raises Ethical Questions – The New York Times

A New Form of Stem-Cell Engineering Raises Ethical Questions – The New York Times

Biologists at Harvard Medical School have announced the ability to create synthetic embryos from stem cells instead of fertilization, in effect making synthetic people. These “sheefs”, for “synthetic human entities with embryolike features”, present ethical considerations, while possibly avoiding legal restrictions on human experimentation. Framed as “human structures”, sheefs may be grown to maturity and provide tissue for experimentation and organs for transplant. Or they may be altered to have non-human traits. I mean, “structures”.

–Coyoty