Cloning project makes a major breakthrough

The Independent is reporting that scientists at the Oregon National Primate Research Center are on the verge of announcing that they have developed a new technique for cloning embryos from adult monkeys. Their work is expected to make it much simpler to turn human eggs into cloned embryos. And that would offer a big step toward creating human embryonic stem cells from cloning

The research team has extracted stem cells from the cloned embryos and coaxed them into transforming into heart cells and brain neurons. Professor Alan Trounson told the newspaper that the work represented a key breakthrough in making cloned primate embryos from adult cells. The scientists say that the work was made possible by abandoning the use of ultraviolet light and dyes and relying on a microscopic technique. So far, no cloned embryo implanted into the wombs of rhesus macaque monkeys has led to a birth, though researchers say that could just be a case of "bad luck."

- read the article in The Independent

ALSO: "Failure to outlaw reproductive cloning means it is just a matter of time until cloned individuals share the planet," Brendan Tobin of the Irish Center for Human Rights in Galway, Ireland and one of the chief authors of the UN study told AFP. Report

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