Yesterday scientists have claimed that they have used cloning of human eggs to generate embryonic stem cells. These contain the genes of a specific person.
The Journal Nature has published the article which details the advancement towards being able to replace genetically matched embryonic stem cells – with the benefit of being able to treat many diseases which can prove fatal.
There is still some work ahead for the scientists who have, so far, only been able to produce genetically abnormal cells. While this is useful for research purposes, the next step is to produce normal cells.
Dieter Egli of the New York Stem Cell Foundation said “This work for the first time demonstrates that the human egg has the ability to turn a specialized cell into a stem cell.”
These experiments could prove very valuable long term for treating patients with serious illnesses, however there are always ethical and moral concerns raised over ‘human cloning’.
According to journalist Rob Stein the research was possible due to a payment scheme for selected women. “The research was possible because for the first time scientists paid women for their eggs for human embryonic stem cell research, stirring worries about women being exploited and putting their health at risk. At the same time, the researchers made the cells by producing and then destroying mutant embryos, whose moral status immediately became a matter of sharp debate.”
Kitguru says: Human cell cloning a good thing?