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Last on

New Year's Day 2009 20:00 BBC Radio 4

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 01 January 2009

Geneticist Aarathi Prasad explores the natural phenomenon known as parthenogenesis, or virgin birth.

Thanks to a breakthrough in DNA profiling, scientists have found that some species, including sharks, turkeys and komodo dragons, practice parthenogenesis if their survival is threatened. Aarathi explores the ethical and biological implications should new embryonic stem cell technologies be employed to also make it an option for humans.

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