Women are to be offered cut-price fertility treatment for handing over half their eggs to cloning researchers, it was revealed yesterday
The controversial "eggsharing" scheme will allow women to halve the £3,500 cost of In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) at the Newcastle NHS Fertility Centre. In return, they will have to surrender half their fresh eggs to the scientists.
Once in the laboratory, the eggs will be used to create cloned early-stage embryos, from which it is hoped to extract stem cells.
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are unprogrammed "mother" cells with the potential to become any tissue in the body, from bone to brain.
Scientists round the world believe research on ESCs will revolutionise medicine, yielding new treatments for incurable conditions.