UK gives go-ahead to therapeutic cloning
The decision, taken on 27 February by the House of Lords, has been welcomed by scientists, who hope that research on stem cells from human embryos will yield a cure for a wide range of diseases.
But critics argue that the research is unethical and represents the first step on a slippery slope to reproductive cloning.
Last year Britain became the first country explicitly to permit human embryonic cloning and research on stem cells — all-purpose cells with the potential to turn into any type of tissue. But experiments were not allowed to begin until the House of Lords’ decision yesterday
Millions of pounds of funding for UK-based embryonic stem cell research is expected to be announced in the next few months, and some scientists are predicting a ‘brain drain’ from the United States, where federally funded academics are barred from carrying out the research.
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