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China is investing heavily in regenerative medicine. The country faces fewer moral objections to the use of embryonic stem cells than many Western nations and, if it can provide a supportive funding and academic environment, it could take a leading role in the field.

In this article, Xiangzhong Yang argues that human therapeutic cloning and animal-based embryo biotechnology research should be a top research priority if China wants to focus on scientific areas with the potential to make the country a world leader in a short period of time.

As well as generally increasing investment, the Chinese government needs to target research areas with the potential to compete successfully in the international arena, Yang says, arguing that this will help China to attract back many of its overseas researchers.

Link to full article in Nature

Reference: Nature 428, 210 (2004)