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Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008

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Principal terms used in the 1990 ActE+W+S+N.I.

1Meaning of “embryo” and “gamete”E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Section 1 of the 1990 Act (meaning of “embryo”, “gamete” and associated expressions) is amended as follows.

(2)For subsection (1) substitute—

(1)In this Act (except in section 4A or in the term “human admixed embryo”)—

(a)embryo means a live human embryo and does not include a human admixed embryo (as defined by section 4A(6)), and

(b)references to an embryo include an egg that is in the process of fertilisation or is undergoing any other process capable of resulting in an embryo.

(3)In subsection (2), for paragraph (a) substitute—

(a)references to embryos the creation of which was brought about in vitro (in their application to those where fertilisation or any other process by which an embryo is created is complete) are to those where fertilisation or any other process by which the embryo was created began outside the human body whether or not it was completed there, and.

(4)For subsection (4) substitute—

(4)In this Act (except in section 4A)—

(a)references to eggs are to live human eggs, including cells of the female germ line at any stage of maturity, but (except in subsection (1)(b)) not including eggs that are in the process of fertilisation or are undergoing any other process capable of resulting in an embryo,

(b)references to sperm are to live human sperm, including cells of the male germ line at any stage of maturity, and

(c)references to gametes are to be read accordingly.

(5)After subsection (5) insert—

(6)If it appears to the Secretary of State necessary or desirable to do so in the light of developments in science or medicine, regulations may provide that in this Act (except in section 4A) “embryo”, “eggs”, “sperm” or “gametes” includes things specified in the regulations which would not otherwise fall within the definition.

(7)Regulations made by virtue of subsection (6) may not provide for anything containing any nuclear or mitochondrial DNA that is not human to be treated as an embryo or as eggs, sperm or gametes.

2Meaning of “nuclear DNA”E+W+S+N.I.

In section 2(1) of the 1990 Act (other terms), after the definition of “non-medical fertility services” insert—

nuclear DNA”, in relation to an embryo, includes DNA in the pronucleus of the embryo,.

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