Feeds

Scientist looks to clone Little Bo Human

Embryo license OK'd

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

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

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
Who wants to be there as history is made at the launch of our LOHAN space project?
Two places available in the chase plane above the desert
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.