Dr. Woodruff and other members of the Women's Health Research Institute discussed the ban on parthenotes, included in the Dickey-Wicker Amendment (1996) in an article in Science Magazine. The authors called for the removal of this wording as it threatens a potentially fruitful area of research on reproduction and early development. Society is missing the opportunity to benefit from research that involves parthenogenesis. We support federal funding for parthenote research according to the guidelines recommended by the 1994 NIH panel and call for removal of parthenotes from the DWA, if not repeal of the amendment in its entirety. To read her complete review in Science, click here.
In addition to the paper in Science, Dr. Woodruff and her team call for a public discussion on parthenote research and a questioning of its inclusion in the DWA in a 2011 paper in the American Journal of Bioethics. Parthenote research is of particular importance to Dr. Woodruff's research. Ultimately, studying parthenotes helps scientists better understand the process of oocyte activation, which has ramifications not only for reproductive health matters, particularly miscarriage and infertility, but also for certain types of benign tumors and cancers.