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Thread: England approves cloning of human embryos

  1. #1
    Mod Law zombie-a-go-go's Avatar
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    England approves cloning of human embryos

    LONDON, England (CNN) -- The creator of Dolly the sheep has been granted a license to clone human embryos for medical research, authorities in London have announced.

    Professor Ian Wilmut of the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh and a team from King's College, London plan to clone embryos to study motor neuron disease.

    Consent for the cloning to treat the incurable muscle-wasting condition was granted by Britain's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).

    It is the second such license approved since Britain became the first country to legalize research cloning in 2001.

    The first license was granted in August to a team at Newcastle University, northern England, which hopes to use cloning to create insulin-producing cells that could be transplanted into diabetics.

    Such work, called therapeutic cloning because it does not result in a baby, is opposed by anti-abortion groups and other biological conservatives because researchers must destroy human embryos to harvest the cells.

    The new license will allow researchers at the Roslin Institute to study motor neuron disease, in particular those patients whose condition cannot be linked to genes already identified as causing the disease, the HFEA said.

    While embryonic stem cells would not be used to correct the disease, the study of these cells could help develop future treatments, the HFEA said.

    Angela McNab, chief executive, said in a statement: "The HFEA's role is to ensure research on human embryos is only carried out when it is viewed as necessary under strictly defined guidelines, outlined in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (1990).

    "We recognize that motor neuron disease is a serious congenital condition. 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 license for this research into the disease."

    Wilmut and motor neuron expert Christopher Shaw of the Institute of Psychiatry in London plan to combine eggs donated by women with skin cells donated by patients with motor neuron disease whose condition cannot be linked to genes already known to cause the disease.

    The genetic material, or nucleus, is removed from the egg and replaced with the genetic material of the donated skin cell.

    The egg is activated and allowed to grow into a 5- to 6-day-old embryo. Cells from the embryo are then taken out to develop embryonic stem cells.

    The mechanism behind motor neuron disease is poorly understood because the nerves are inaccessible in the brain and central nervous system and cannot be removed from patients.
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  3. #2
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: England approves cloning of human embryos

    That should liven up a debate that we haven't heard from for awhile.
    /r/reds

  4. #3
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: England approves cloning of human embryos

    Look for my new book, "I Harvest Cells From Six-Day-Old Embryos, and Other Failed Pick-Up Lines," coming this fall.
    Makes all the routine posts.

  5. #4
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: England approves cloning of human embryos

    I applaud these efforts. It's too bad the U.S. won't be participating.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Member Red Heeler's Avatar
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    Re: England approves cloning of human embryos

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
    I applaud these efforts. It's too bad the U.S. won't be participating.
    Agreed. This is the most important medical research being done anywhere. To withold the resources of the U.S. is a travesty.

  7. #6
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    Re: England approves cloning of human embryos

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Heeler
    Agreed. This is the most important medical research being done anywhere. To withold the resources of the U.S. is a travesty.
    Shut up and goosestep!

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    Member Red Heeler's Avatar
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    Re: England approves cloning of human embryos

    A thought popped into my head about this. Those who are against abortion use the "life begins at conception" argument. Cloned embryos were never concieved. When do they become "life?"

  9. #8
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: England approves cloning of human embryos

    On the seventh day.



    Good thing they're harvested before that.

    :mhcky21:
    Makes all the routine posts.

  10. #9
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: England approves cloning of human embryos

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Heeler
    A thought popped into my head about this. Those who are against abortion use the "life begins at conception" argument. Cloned embryos were never concieved. When do they become "life?"
    I'm not taking the pro or anti position here. But I assume mixing the egg and sperm in a test tube is equal to conception. That would be consistent with the opposition these groups have against implanting 7+ externally fertilized embryoes as fertility therapy. The thought is that you are implanting 10 or so living beings into the mom, knowing full well that they won't all live.

    Again, I am not going to debate pro or con, but just in case that question was serious, I'd thought I'd respond.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

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    Re: England approves cloning of human embryos

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD
    I'm not taking the pro or anti position here. But I assume mixing the egg and sperm in a test tube is equal to conception. That would be consistent with the opposition these groups have against implanting 7+ externally fertilized embryoes as fertility therapy. The thought is that you are implanting 10 or so living beings into the mom, knowing full well that they won't all live.

    Again, I am not going to debate pro or con, but just in case that question was serious, I'd thought I'd respond.
    The definition of conception is "formation of a viable zygote by the union of the male sperm and female ovum; fertilization."

    In cloning, you are not mixing sperm and egg. The nucleus from a mammary cell is implanted into an enucleated, unfertilized ovum.


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