Tuesday, 4 September 2007

UK HFEA watchdog should approve 'cybrid' embryos

UK HFEA Watchdog should approve 'cybrid' embryos Tuesday, 04 September 2007 The creation of embryos that are part-human and part-animal should be approved by the Government’s fertility watchdog on Wednesday, after a consultation revealed strong scientific support for the work and only limited public concern. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is expected to agree in principle that scientists can use interspecies embryos that are 99.9 per cent genetically human to investigate diseases such as Parkinson’s and diabetes. A decision to allow cytoplasmic hybrid or “cybrid” embryos, formed by placing human DNA into an empty animal egg, is anticipated after the four-month consultation found that most opposition to the experiments comes from people who object to all embryo research. The wider public, by contrast, was broadly supportive: a poll found that 61 per cent agreed with such work if it might improve understanding of diseases. Scientists also backed the research overwhelmingly. A positive ruling would clear the way for the authority to consider licence applications from research teams at King’s College, London and the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who want to produce cybrids to create stem cell models of disease. See also: UK Government Approves Hybrid Embryo Research ......... ZenMaster

For more on stem cells and cloning, go to CellNEWS at http://www.geocities.com/giantfideli/index.html

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