This story is scary for so many reasons.

New Science writes:

Researchers at the Autonomous University of Barcelona have come up with an ingenious solution for keeping track of embryos and egg cells during in vitro fertilisation procedures: microscopic bar codes.

These mouse eggs were tagged by injecting microscopic silicon bar codes into their perivitelline space, the gap between the cell membrane and an outer membrane called the zona pellucida, which binds sperm cells during fertilisation.

The bar codes, which carry unique binary identification numbers, are biologically inert: they do not affect the rate of embryo development and are shed before the embryos implant into the wall of the uterus. The technique aims to simplify individual embryo identification, streamlining in vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer procedures.

The Government of Catalonia’s Department of Health has granted permission for the technique to be developed using human eggs and embryos from fertility clinics in Spain.

This makes perfect sense if you accept as a given that human life is a commodity to be accepted or rejected by the decisions of others. If you agree that the creation of human beings and storing them in a freezer in perpetuity might be fine then bar codes on embryos probably make a lot of sense to you.

It all comes down to those assumptions. I do not share them. I’m horrified by this man made barcoded limbo we’ve created for human beings.

Chelsea Zimmerman at the excellent Reflections of a Paralytic writes:

As if we needed more evidence that IVF makes human life a commodity.