Did you know that international policy limits embryo research to the first two weeks of development? It’s known as the 14-day rule. It hadn’t been a problem, as no one had managed to culture an embryo in vitro beyond nine days.Culturing human embryos in vitro has been technically difficult and most don’t make it past seven days.

On May 2016 two research groups announced a breakthrough: they each grew human embryos, in the lab, longer than ever before. In doing so, they witnessed a period of human development no one had ever seen. But in the process, they crashed up against the ’14-day rule,’ a guideline set over 30 years ago that dictates what we do, and possibly how we feel, about human embryos in the lab.

On this episode of RadioLab, producer Molly Webster peers down at our very own origins, and wonders: what do we do now? This is another thoroughly exciting and thought provoking look at scientific research.

For this discussion board:

  • Listen to the podcast
  • Post on the discussion board: Your contribution should include:
  1. A reason why you think the 14 day rule should be extended and for how long and
  2. A reason why the rule should stay at 14 or be shortened and if so to how many days.
  • Thoughtful and respectful comments to two of your classmates.

Remember to always include references/citations to back your statements.