(Times Online – July 28, 2006) – Women undergoing IVF treatment will be able to cut thousands of pounds from the cost by donating some of their eggs for cloning research, after the practice was approved in Britain for the first time.

The scheme will be available at the fertility clinic that created Britain’s first cloned human embryo. It was approved by the fertility regulator yesterday, even though the regulator itself begins a public consultation on the ethics of egg donation for research in September.

The licence from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) means that patients at the Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life will in effect be paid in kind for their eggs. Up to half their treatment costs will be covered by a scientific team investigating stem cells, if they agree to give up 50 per cent of the eggs that they produce for use in experiments.

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