Sheep Dolly's creator will clone human embryos

The scientist who created Dolly the sheep has been given permission to clone human embryos in the search for a cure for the devastating degenerative disorder, motor neurone disease.

Prof Ian Wilmut's application was approved by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) yesterday.

Prof Ian Wilmut
Prof Ian Wilmut: opportunities

Prof Christopher Shaw from the Institute of Psychiatry, London, will provide him with cells from patients with motor neurone disease (MND) with which he will create cloned human embryos with the disease.

Using the stem cells from the embryos, Prof Shaw will work to capture the moment when motor neurone cells, which control movement, begin to degenerate, giving scientists the first real understanding of what goes wrong.

The work is controversial. A spokesman for Comment on Reproductive Ethics (Core) said: "Core expresses deep disappointment that such a reputable UK scientist as Professor Wilmut has succumbed to the temptations of the bio-technology industry
What are your views on this?
On the one side Chavettes can use abortion to get rid of healthy embryos in a much more advanced stage of developement (not having a go at legitimate reasons for abortion as I realise there are enough of those just at the people who use it as contraception) and on the other, cloned embryos are being used to advance understanding of and maybe provide a cure for a pretty nasty health problem. Me thinks there are double standards being practised, maybe the fact that the Prof is earning money on his work has ruffled the feathers of the purists.
Agent_Smith said:
What are your views on this?
If it helps motor neurone disease sufferers, fair enough. I know it's a thin edge of the wedge, but that is why mankind has a far longer life span. Medical research.

No I don't want 'cloning' per se. I've seen Gatica.


Book Reviewer
Excuse my ignorance of all this, but has any of this research actually produced a cure for anything? I know that some drugs are now produced more eficiently as a result of DNA implanting or some such magic (Insulin, for example) but has anything new been produced, or is it as usual just Science for the sake of it?
The research hasn't achieved very much yet because it is very much in it's infancy. Nor are we talking about growing foetuses to near term. For the research being planned we're talking about days at most as a self-contained embryo then seperation into stem-cell groups, these can then be cultivated seperately (hence the need for cloning to obtain identical cells so that there is a degree of repeatibility to the experiments). Rightly, this research is very strictly licensed in this country to ensure that it meets the correct moral requirements and the growth of embryos is as limited as possible.

Given that there are SOME women out there that use abortion almost as a form of contraception I feel that this type of experimentation is justified because of the potential future benefits.
Just a quick note.

If articles are going to be cut and pasted in part, or in entirety they MUST have the source quoted, and a link back to the article inserted.

Agent_Smith, will you be so kind as to get the appropriate links and credits in the articles you have posted today please?


I'm all for cloning.

The sooner tey can produce another of me to do this job so I can get on with the serious tasks in life such as watching daytime TV then the happier I will be.
I say 'smart'. When I'm watching Stabtastic mk 2 on the news while he's stagging on the front gate at Shaibah, I'll think of the boffins and raise a glass. :lol:
Sorry PTP.

Had to post it quick as my boss stuck his head throught door 8O

Link has been added to the original post.

Personally i have no problem with Ian Wilmot and his team at the Roslin Institute carrying out research on issues like this. Despite all the scaremongering, there is absolutely no chance of it leading to cloning as human cloning is ilegal in the UK and we have one of the most stringently regulated Science sectors in the world. You are far more likely to see the first clone produced in some 3rd world country where a mad prof (like that Italian who claimed to have cloned 2 kids) has the freedom to carryout his work.

As for the moral aspect, i think that we should allow them to carry out the work (and in so, creating embryos, although they are technically no fertilised eggs and have not been created by the act of unision of a sperm and an egg).

If we block work like this on moral grounds, we should then also stop work on animal testing, midterm abortions (if only you could see WHAT they allow to be terminated!) and umpteen other areas of science.

Who are we to deprive a cure to horrific diseases and conditions that afflict brave individuals as Chrsitopher reeves and Jinky Johston?


Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads