Although it appears these researchers from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology are attempting to refine pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (a practice that is little more than a way to separate out a class of disabled humans so they can be killed before implantation into their mothers’ wombs), the finding that the embryo has the ability to correct certain of its chromosomal anomalies not only supports the idea that the embryo is an organism, but that it is a human organism with some abilities we already-born folks don’t have.
Sometimes pro-choice advocates will offer the supposed limited functionality of the embryo to me as support for the idea that the unborn isn’t a person. They will say, “The embryo doesn’t even have a brain! It’s not doing anything!” I’ll seek genuine common ground by agreeing that the embryo in the first two weeks doesn’t have a brain, but I’ll point out that it doesn’t need one to organize its body systems. We need a brain for that purpose at our stage of development, but the embryo doesn’t. So, I sometimes ask, “Can you organize your body systems without a brain?” Or, I’ll ask, “Can you double your size every few hours or days?” The embryo, of course, can do these things very well. And, now it appears they can correct certain anomalies to some degree, even though those anomalies are genetic.
So, it appears the embryo, while she can’t do everything we can do at our stage of development, can do a host of things at her stage of development that we can’t do at ours.