§ Sir Bernard Braine
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information is available to him about the centres financed by the Medical Research Council which are carrying out experiments or observations on spare embryos fertilised in vitro; and if he will list them.
§ Mr. Brooke
The Medical Research Council currently funds three research programmes using human ova fertilised in vitro. Approval for each programme has been obtained from the appropriate scientific and local ethical committees; and in each case the work conforms to the council's published guidelines on "Research related to human fertilisation and embryology". The MRC experimental embryology and teratology unit has a collaborative project on aspects of early human development with the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Cromwell hospital London where an in vitro fertilisation programme is under way. The MRC reproductive biology unit in Edinburgh is studying the chromosomes of cleavage stage embryos to determine the incidence, nature and origins of chromosomal abnormalities. In addition, research is supported through a grant in the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at the university of Cambridge on the establishment of criteria of normal development for the early human embryo and their application to detect causes of abnormality and reproductive failure.