I warned 30 years ago that this was the goal, and that it would happen. Every smart aleck science student or bioethicist I warned who guffawed at the idea is silent today.
Fears raised over HUMAN cloning: Lab in controversial embryo experiments
The research institute combined two types of stem cells to create a viable embryo, which could then be replicated multiple times. Amazingly, it means the researchers didn’t use either an egg or sperm to create the very beginning of human life. The embryos the lab has made will be used for medical testing, specifically to figure out why embryos fail to implant in women’s wombs.
The experiment was carried out by scientists from the MERLN Institute at Maastricht Univeristy and the Hubrecht Institute (KNAW) in the Netherlands.
Professor Clemens van Blitterswijk, department chair at the MERLN Institute of Maastricht University, added:
“This research opens the path to a new biomedical discipline.
“We can create large numbers of model embryos and build up new knowledge by systematically testing new medical techniques and potential medicines.
It also dramatically reduces the need for animal experimentation.”
But fears have been raised the research is paving the way for human cloning.
Professor Robin Lovell-Badge, of the Francis Crick Institute, called it a “relief” the team is not yet at the human cloning stage. He said:
“It may come as a relief to others that such a method of producing many genetically identical human embryo-like structures that might be capable of implantation is not feasible – even if it would be illegal to implant them into women, as is clearly the situation in the UK.”