[extropy-chat] Science's babies - An article on therapeutic cloning in Britain
bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au
Mon Aug 23 00:04:34 UTC 2004
"In Britain, a group of scientists is about to start cloning human embryos to develop new treatments for diseases such as diabetes. Ian Sample explains what happens next."
'Rather than therapeutic cloning becoming a therapy in its own right, it is its usefulness as a tool for studying disease, as demonstrated by Jaenisch, that will really have an impact, says Irving Weissman, a developmental biologist at Stanford University.
"For me, the greatest and most important thing that'll come from this is a whole new platform to understand human genetic diseases," Weissman says. "For the first time ever, you can have the authentic human disease to work on, right there in cells in front of you." Irving says the technique will allow scientists to study some of the best-known genetic diseases, from diabetes to early-onset heart disease, find out precisely what genetic fault is responsible, and from that develop ways of treating them.
Irving is one of the optimists.
"Anyone who says therapeutic cloning won't happen based on where we are today is naive. It's wrong to hype it as something that will happen in the next five years, but it will happen," he says.'
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