[Paleopsych] AP: Britain grants cloning license

Premise Checker checker at panix.com
Thu Aug 12 13:07:35 UTC 2004

Britain grants cloning license
Posted on Thu, Aug. 12, 2004

    Project goal to make insulin-producing cells
    By Emma Ross

    LONDON - Britain granted its first license for human cloning
    yesterday, joining South Korea on the leading edge of stem-cell
    research, which is restricted by the Bush administration but which
    many scientists think might lead to new treatments for a range of

    The British license went to Newcastle University researchers who hope
    eventually to create insulin-producing cells that could be
    transplanted into diabetics.

    South Korean scientists announced in February they had cloned an
    embryo and extracted its stem cells.

    Many scientists think stem cells hold vast promise for treating an
    array of diseases from diabetes to Parkinson's. Stem cells can grow
    into any type of human tissue, and scientists hope to be able to
    direct the blank cells to grow into specific cell types needed for

    Stem cells can be found in adults, but scientists think they might not
    be as versatile as those found in embryos. They envision using cloning
    to create an embryo from a patient so that stem cells extracted would
    be a perfect transplant match.

    "Therapeutic cloning will, in the immediate future, be a vital tool in
    harnessing the power of stem cells to treat some of the major diseases
    which threaten humankind," John Harris, professor of bioethics at the
    University of Manchester, said after the license was announced. "This
    decision is a signal of our society's compassion and concern for those
    threatened by disease."

    Britain's ProLife Party lamented the decision and said it was
    considering whether it could sue.

    Regulations on cloning and stem-cell research vary around the world.
    Britain is the only European country that licenses cloning for
    stem-cell research and three years ago was the first in the world to
    do so when Parliament voted to allow regulators to license the method
    for stem-cell research.

    South Korea followed in December. Countries such as Sweden and Japan
    are expected to pass similar legislation soon.

    This year, the United Nations will reconsider whether to propose an
    international treaty to ban "therapeutic" cloning -- which produces
    stem cells from cloned embryos -- as well as "reproductive" cloning,
    which makes babies.

    The Bush administration forbids federal funding for research on
    embryonic stem-cell lines created after Aug. 9, 2001. It also forbids
    federal funding of all cloning research.

Lexington Herald-Leader and wire service sources.

More information about the paleopsych mailing list