Human-animal embryos for stem cell research

Published: Monday 15 October 2007

Controversial human-animal embryos can now be created for stem cell research.

After eight months of public consultation, the uk Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has given the go-ahead to cytoplasmic hybrid research. The research involves cloning human genetic material inside the egg cell of rabbit or cow. This will result in an inter-species hybrid, also called cytoplastic hybrid embryo, which will be 99.9 per cent human and 0.1 per cent animal. The authority has, however, imposed tight regulation: "This is not a total green light for [all] cytoplasmic hybrid research, but recognition that this area of research can, with caution and careful scrutiny, be permitted." Researchers from Kings College, London, and Newcastle University had applied to the authority for permission to create such hybrids.

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