Research on human embryos is authorised by the Agence de la biomédecine under strict conditions stipulated by the 2013 legislation on Bioethics. Embryo research studies the mechanisms of development of the human embryo during the first few days after fertilisation.
Researchers authorised by the Agence de la biomédecine work on embryos that have been conserved following in vitro fertilisation, are no longer part of a parental project, and have been donated to research by the parents.
Embryonic stem cells are taken from the human embryo at the very first stage of its development. Their ability to generate all types of human cells carries a potential for advances in the knowledge of human development and the understanding of the biological mechanisms that characterise these cells, but also for new therapeutic approaches, such as regenerative medicine.