Feeds

Scientist looks to clone Little Bo Human

Embryo license OK'd

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

First he brought you Dolly the sheep, now he wants to clone human beings - or at least their gooey embryos.

Professor Ian Wilmut has been awarded a license to create stem cells from cloned embryos. The license, granted by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), will allow Wilmut and researchers at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh to study Motor Neuron Disease (MND). Thousands of people in the UK suffer from MND - many of whom die 14 months after diagnosis.

"We recognise that Motor Neuron Disease is a serious congenital condition," said Angela McNab, chief executive of HFEA. "Following careful review of the medical, scientific, legal and ethical aspects of this application, we felt it was appropriate to grant the Roslin Institute a one-year licence for this research into the disease.”

Wilmut garnered much attention a few years ago when he created Dolly the cloned sheep. The celebrity walking sweater died at the tender age of six, when she was put down to stop the effects of a worsening lung disease.

Wilmut now plans to take the skin cells of patients suffering from MND and combine them with eggs donated by women. Genetic material will be pulled from the egg and replaced with material from the skin cells. The egg will then be allowed to grow into a 5-6 day old embryo. That embryo will be harvested for its stem cells.

"Using these embryonic stem cells researchers can study the development of Motor Neuron Disease in patients who do not have the genes that are currently known to cause the disease," HFEA said. "Whilst these embryonic stem cells would not be used to correct the disease, the study of these cells could help develop future treatments."

This experiment with human cloning will no doubt cause quite the squabble between those who abhor the idea of fooling around with embryos and others who see such research as a natural step for science.

More information on Wilmut's proposal can be found here. ®

Related stories

US stem cell research in jeopardy
Cloned kitten sold for $50,000
Annan lines up against US-inspired human cloning ban
UN to debate embryo cloning

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Would it be BAD if the Amazon rainforest was all FARMS? Well it WAS, once
Used to be all fields round here: Jungle tribesman saying
'BIGGEST BIRD EVER': 21-foot ripsaw-beaked flying HORROR
Fossil avian cruised above sea like toothy ekranoplan
Help us out readers: How would you sniff and store network traffic?
Phase two of our deep desert project needs your wisdom
Boffins urge European Commission to reboot electric brain project
Billion-Euro simulated mind project criticised for narrow thinking
Going up: Fancy a virtual flight to 30km above the PLANET?
Space boffin rattles tin for immersive Oculus Rift experience
In space no one can hear you scream, but Voyager 1 can hear A ROAR
Boffins now very, very, sure craft is in interstellar space, and it's picking up 'sounds'
Cranial RAM cram plan aims to restore memory
DARPA wants to help those with brain disease or injury
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization
Virtualization continues to be one of the most effective ways to consolidate, reduce cost, and make data centers more efficient.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.