Thursday, May 19, 2005

South Korea gets us one step closer to a brave new world

Gina Kolata reports:

In what scientists say is a stunning leap forward, a team of South Korean researchers has developed a highly efficient recipe for producing human embryos by cloning and then extracting their stem cells.

Writing today in the journal Science, they report that they used their method to produce 11 human stem cells lines that are genetic matches of 11 patients aged 2 to 56.

Kolata is a good reporter, and she has a healthy respect for language. She says up front that in "therapeutic cloning" an embryo that is killed for its stem-cells.

This quote is ominous:

"You almost have no reason not to do it," said Dr. Davor Solter, the director of the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology in Freiberg, Germany.

In fact, Dr. Solter added, it now looks like it is much more efficient to clone and obtain human stem cells than it is to do the same experiment in animals.

Kolata then quotes Leon Kass and Richard Doerflinger's responses. Read it here.

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