The renowned cloning scientist Ian Wilmut says he's abandoning cloning as a source of medical cures in favor of a new approach that creates stem cells from skin fragments. The new stem cell approach was first developed in Japan by Professor Shinya Yamanaka. Wilmut, who famously cloned Dolly the sheep 10 years ago, calls Yamanaka's discovery "extremely exciting and astonishing." By creating various stem cells from skin fragments, scientists believe they can invent cures for a variety of human ailments, like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and more. And by using a patient's own skin tissue, they can avoid the threat of rejection. Wilmut's high profile could add to the move away from cloning human embryos as a source of therapeutic stem cells--a field that has been mired in controversy even as it advances steadily closer to the reach of scientists. Only last week we reported about a major advance in cloning primate embryos.
- check out the article from The Guardian