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

EU on high alert as Germany accepts Ebola patients
2014 07 30
A German hospital has agreed to treat Ebola patients amid widespread fears of a possible outbreak of the deadly disease in Europe. Over 670 people have already been killed by the disease in West Africa with doctors struggling to control the epidemic. A German hospital in Hamburg agreed to accept patients following a request from the World Health Organization (WHO), Deutsche ...
Bolivia declares Israel terrorist regime
2014 07 30
Bolivia has declared Israel a “terrorist state” and revoked a visa exemption agreement with Tel Aviv in protest at the ongoing Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip. The move "means, in other words, we are declaring (Israel) a terrorist state," President Evo Morales said during talks with a group of educators in the city of Cochabamba ...
Pagan Traditions: Mysteries of medieval graffiti in England’s churches
2014 07 30
Medieval graffiti of straw kings, pentagrams, crosses, ships and "demon traps" have been offering a tantalising glimpse into England’s past. What do the pictures reveal about life in the Middle Ages? A project to record the graffiti, which began in Norfolk, has now been rolled out to other areas and is gradually spreading across England. Armed with just a torch and a ...
More Gigantic Holes Appear in Siberia’s ’End of the World’
2014 07 30
Is it the end of the world in Siberia’s ’End of the World’? Scientists suspect not, but they’re still investigating the strange and alarming holes that are swallowing up the Siberian north. This week two new holes have been discovered, and with similar characteristics as the first reported hole: a very deep shaft with smooth sides, debris surrounding the rim, and water ...
BLACKLISTED: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist
2014 07 30
The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept. The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, ...
More News »