We have created human-animal embryos already, say British team
By Mark Henderson | timesonline.co.uk
Embryos containing human and animal material have been created in Britain for the first time, a month before the House of Commons votes on new laws to regulate the research.
A team at Newcastle University announced yesterday that it had successfully generated “admixed embryos” by adding human DNA to empty cow eggs in the first experiment of its kind in Britain.
The Commons is to debate the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill next month. MPs have been promised a free vote on clauses in the legislation that would permit admixed embryos. But their creation is already allowed, subject to the granting of a licence from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).
The Newcastle cybrids lived for three days and the largest grew to contain 32 cells
The Newcastle group, led by Lyle Armstrong, was awarded one of the first two licences in January. The other went to a team at King’s College London, led by Professor Stephen Minger. The new Bill will formalise their legal status if it is passed by Parliament.
Admixed embryos are widely supported by scientists and patient groups as they provide an opportunity to produce powerful stem-cell models for investigating diseases such as Parkinson’s and diabetes, and for developing new drugs.
Their creation, however, has been opposed by some religious groups, particularly the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, described the work last month as “experiments of Frankenstein proportion”.
The admixed embryos created by the Newcastle group are of a kind known as cytoplasmic hybrids, or cybrids, which are made by placing the nucleus from a human cell into an animal egg that has had its nucleus removed. The genetic material in the resulting embryos is 99.9 per cent human.
The BBC reported that the Newcastle cybrids lived for three days, and that the largest grew to contain 32 cells. The ultimate aim is to grow these for six days, and then to extract embryonic stem cells for use in research.
Once the technique has been tested, scientists hope to create cybrids from the DNA of patients with genetic diseases. The resulting stem cells could then be used as models of those diseases to provide insights into their progress and to test new treatments.
It is already illegal to culture human-animal embryos for more than 14 days, or to implant them in the womb of a woman or animal, and these prohibitions will remain in the new legislation.
Using cow eggs reflects a short supply of human eggs. There are also ethical difficulties involved in collecting human eggs for research, as the donation process carries a small risk to women.
Professor John Burn, a member of the Newcastle team, told the BBC: “This is licensed work which has been carefully evaluated. This is a process in a dish, and we are dealing with a clump of cells which would never go on to develop. It’s a laboratory process and these embryos would never be implanted into anyone.
“We now have preliminary data which looks promising but this is very much work in progress and the next step is to get the embryos to survive to around six days, when we can hope-fully derive stem cells from them.”
The Newcastle team’s decision to announce its success on television, before its results have been published in a peer-reviewed journal, will also trigger criticism from scientists.
Medical researchers said last night that the experiments were important, but that they wanted to see published details before passing judgment on their merits.
Article from: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style
Chimera embryos have right to life, say bishops
Now scientists create a sheep that's 15% human
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
Hybrid embryos could be created within months
Patent sought on 'synthetic life'
'Darth Venter' (J. Craig Venter) & The Archon Genomics X Prize
Artificial life likely in 3 to 10 years
First genome transplant turns one species into another
Latest News from our Front Page
4 beheaded in Saudi Arabia less than a week into King Salman's rule
Comment: So when will the the "Human rights" promoting liberal west elite decide invade Saudi Arabia like they did Libya?
Members of Magic Movement stage a mock execution scene in protest of Saudi Arabia beheading of eight Bangladeshi workers in October 2011.
Four people have been executed in Saudi Arabia less than a week after 79-year-old King Salman assumed power following the ...
Swedish Office Block Pushes Microchips on its Staff
Sweden is heading over the cliff in multiple areas, all at once. They are pushing the abolition of cash, run amok state feminism, gender war, pacification of the police and perhaps even more frightening: open borders. A policy that have given the country a "gold medal" in asylum seeker acceptance. Run away
Charlie Hebdo: Where Neocons, Zionists, Masons and Communists Converge
Charlie Hebdo, raising the banner of revolt, has always regurgitated precisely what the “system” required.
Charlie Hebdo (CH) came out of the New Left milieu of the 1960s and is a product of the 1968 revolt against President Charles de Gaulle. It happens that the most famous of the New Left revolts came at a time when (1) the CIA was ...
The Liberation of Auschwitz
This article is perhaps a day late, but it will be some time before talk of the Holocaust subsides in the mainstream press, especially now that we are to have a vast new Holocaust Memorial Centre built with £50 million of taxpayers money in central London, to replace the rather unimpressive one that already exists in Hyde Park.
In the various ...
Facebook’s New ‘Chinese-style’ Political Censorship System Goes Global
Last week 21WIRE reported on Facebook’s new communitarian policy whereby readers can ‘flag’ content as “fake news” if they believe it’s not real, or if they do not like it. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo False Flag event, the social media giant is now allowing governments to determine what is ‘good free speech’, and what is not.
“An article ...
|More News » |