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Embryos, please

Almost half of Spanish couples recently asked to donate their excess embryos to stem cell research did so.

The response of 97 couples who had undergone in vitro fertilization treatment at two Spanish clinics contrasts sharply to the situation in the United States, where a 2003 review found that just 3 percent of surplus embryos were going to stem cell research.

In the Spanish study, 49 percent of couples agreed to donate their embryos to that type of research, 44 percent decided to keep their embryos on ice indefinitely, 7 percent gave their embryos to other infertile couples, and less than 1 percent decided to discard their embryos, according to a report published online in the June 7 Cell Stem Cell.

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