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Cloning Technique to Make Human Stem Cells

Breakthrough bypasses need to use cells from fertilized embryos

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The researchers downplayed the notion that this research might somehow lead to human cloning.

"While the method might be considered a technique for cloning stem cells, commonly called therapeutic cloning, the same method would not likely be successful in producing human clones otherwise known as reproductive cloning," OHSU said in a university press release. Attempts over many years to create monkey clones have failed, the university noted, and human cells are even more fragile and less amenable to cloning.

"Our research is directed toward generating stem cells for use in future treatments to combat disease," Mitalipov added. "While nuclear transfer breakthroughs often lead to a public discussion about the ethics of human cloning, this is not our focus, nor do we believe our findings might be used by others to advance the possibility of human reproductive cloning."

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Cibelli said he believes the new achievement might encourage someone to attempt human cloning, "though that remains a distant and disturbing prospect."

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