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Illegal Beings: Human Clones

Belgians make cloning progress

moderator ( 06/27/2005, 01:00:52 )

SCIENCE AND DISCOVERY: Belgians make cloning progress June 21, 2005 Source: Associate PressScientists in Belgium have cloned human embryos for the first time using eggs matured in a laboratory -- a technique that may help cloning become a viable option for growing patients' own replacement tissue.The experiment, outlined Monday at a science conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, brings the Belgians to the forefront of human cloning aimed at producing stem cells that are a genetic match for injured or sick patients.The goal of such therapeutic cloning is not to create babies but to extract stem cells, which are created in the earliest days after conception and give rise to the human body.Scientists hope to use the cells to make replacement parts for diseased and injured organs. Cells taken from cloned embryos would be a genetic match and theoretically would avoid transplant rejection problems.Until now, scientists have only used mature eggs to create cloned embryos, but if immature eggs work too, the egg supply problem may be significantly eased, said Josiane Van der Elst, who conducted the research at Ghent University in Belgium.The Belgian group is the third to report having cloned human embryos. Last year, South Korean scientists were the first to clone a human embryo. British researchers announced last month that they, too, had cloned a human embryo.In the United States, federal government money cannot be used for cloning projects, but there are no restrictions on privately funded research.

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