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    • Join Date: Dec 2003
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    #1

    laboratory artifact

    ...When their report of the first successful fertilization of a human egg in vitro was published in Science, scientists were skeptical. ... Maybe, critics said, the observed cleavage was just a laboratory artifact, something that can happen to unfertilized eggs in a petri dish -- a kind of reflex cell division that will never lead to a healthy, normal child.

    What is a "laboratory artifact"?


    • Join Date: Jun 2005
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    #2

    Re: laboratory artifact

    artifact: any object made, modified, or used by people.
    laboratory artifact: any object made, modified, or used by people in laboratory.

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #3

    Re: laboratory artifact

    In addition,

    'arte' from Greek meaning, art, and 'fact' from Greek meaning, make. Artefact, also spelled artifact, means an object that's not created by nature; it's human made, or crafted by human intervention. Note, the paragraph you provided gives us a really big clue about the meaning of 'laboratory artifact':

    ". . . something that can happen to unfertilized eggs in a petri dish -- a kind of reflex cell division that will never lead to a healthy, normal child."

    Both fertilized and unfertilized eggs divide. The former by sperm, the latter by themselves in a petri dish. Human intervention: placing the unfertilzied eggs into a petri dish thereby altering their environment, and causing the cells to divide, which mimics the process a fertilized egg undergoes.

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