Green light for hybrid research
2008 01 17

From: news.bbc.co.uk


Regulators have given scientists the green light to create human-animal embryos for research.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority granted permission after a consultation showed the public were "at ease" with the idea.

Experts said it was vital for research into life-threatening diseases.

Two centres, King's College London and Newcastle University, will now be able to begin their work under one-year research licences.

Any other centres wishing to do similar work will have to apply to the HFEA for permission, which will make a decision on a case by case basis.

Hybrids
Scientists want to create hybrid embryos by merging human cells with animal eggs in a bid to extract stem cells. The embryos would then be destroyed within 14 days.

The cells form the basic building blocks of the body and have the potential to become any tissue, making them essential for research.

At the moment, scientists have to rely on human eggs left over from fertility treatment, but they are in short supply and are not always good quality.

Critics say they are repulsed by the idea and there must be no creation of an animal-human hybrid.

They say it is tampering with nature and is unethical.

It is already illegal to implant human-animal embryos in the womb or bring them to term.

Go-ahead
Dr Stephen Minger and colleagues at King's College London want to create hybrids to study diseases known to have genetic causes - such as Alzheimer's disease, spinal muscular atrophy and Parkinson's disease.

And Lyle Armstrong's team at Newcastle University are hoping to use the technique to help understand how stem cells develop into different tissues in the body.

In the distant future this information may lead to scientists to be able to grow new tissues in the laboratory.

Dr Armstrong said: "Now that we have the licence we can start work as soon as possible.

"We have already done a lot of the work by transferring animal cells into cow eggs so we hope to make rapid progress."

John Smeaton, national director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), said: "The HFEA decision represents a disastrous setback for human dignity in Britain.

"The deliberate blurring of the boundaries between humans and other species is wrong and strikes at the heart of what makes us human."


Article from: Green light for hybrid research



Related Articles
Why are ministers opposed to hybrids?
Chimera embryos have right to life, say bishops
Science's new blend mixes man and beast
Human Cells + Animal Cells = ?
Why Embryonic Stem Cell Research? It's About Human Engineering, Not Ending Disease
Now scientists create a sheep that's 15% human
Hybrid embryos could be created within months
Dolly the Sheep Creator Knighted
EU gives green light for cloned food to go on sale in UK shops
Cloned food on verge of FDA's OK
Burgers from cloned animals 'by 2010'


Latest News from our Front Page

If Someone Secretly Controlled What You Say, Would Anyone Notice?
2014 10 01
The subject enters a room in which a 12-year-old boy is seated. A 20-minute conversation ensues. The subject quizzes the boy about current events and other topics to get a sense of his intelligence and personality. But the boy is not what he appears to be. Unbeknownst to the subject, the boy is wearing a radio receiver in his ear, and ...
Obama has had accurate intelligence about ISIS since BEFORE the 2012 election, says administration insider
2014 10 01
‘President Barack Obama’s intelligence briefings have provided him with specific information since before he won re-election in 2012 about the growing threat of the terror group now known alternatively as ISIS and ISIL, an administration insider told MailOnline on Monday. ‘Unless someone very senior has been shredding the president’s daily briefings and telling him that the dog ate them, highly accurate ...
Can holding a magnet against your head help defeat depression?
2014 10 01
Former GP Sue Mildred suffered from crippling depression and anxiety for 20 years. On two occasions it was so severe that she ended up in hospital, and for 15 years she was unable to work. Sue, 51, has tried antidepressants, talking therapies and, out of desperation, even ECT (electro-convulsive therapy), where an electric current is passed through the brain. This did ...
Extremists to have Facebook and Twitter vetted by anti-terror police
2014 09 30
Theresa May to announce new Extremist Disruption Orders to strengthen counter-terrorism if the Tories win the next general election Extremists will have to get posts on Facebook and Twitter approved in advance by the police under sweeping rules planned by the Conservatives. They will also be barred from speaking at public events if they represent a threat to “the functioning of democracy”, ...
Scottish Independence: Protesters demand revote
2014 09 30
Pro-independence campaigners gathered outside the Scottish Parliament for the second day in a row, this time to demand a revote of the September 18 referendum. While yesterday’s “Rally For A Revote” saw the return of Saltires and Yes banners to Holyrood, it did not match the turnout for the “Voice Of The People” rally held on Saturday, when up 3000 people ...
More News »