News: Advancements in Human Cloning
Video of the cell manipulation process filmed using a microscope equipped with a video camera from OHSU Video on Vimeo.
Scientists have found a way to turn human skin cells into embryonic stem cells. As opposed to using stem cells from an actual embryo to create identical children, this method may allow someone at any age to be replicated through birth. Though they did not attempt to implant this cell, scientists have shown that creating a genetically identical person is within the realm of possibility. Additionally, embryonic stem cells have the ability to turn into other tissues, allowing people recover from serious illness or injury, which was the intention of the scientists who conducted these studies. Until recently, the cloning of any primates, including humans, has eluded scientists despite having cloned 20 different species of animals. This may change in the near future due to this discovery. Attempts to clone primates such as monkeys should be expected.
With that said, we can also expect uproar from pro-life and religious groups against these types of experiments since many of the stem cells will be destroyed in the process. Lastly, the moral issue of “playing God” will be addressed. Despite all of this, scientific findings such as this have the potential to help a great amount of people due to the medicinal nature.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Images: Oregon Health & Science University