US scientists clone human stem cells, medical journal reports
Thursday, 16 May 2013, 08:41
INTERNATIONAL NEWS - US scientists have succeeded for the first time in creating stem cells from cloned embryos, a development that has far-reaching medical implications and could also bring closer the possibility of human cloning, a medical journal reported Wednesday.
The scientists at Oregon Health and Science University used somatic cell nuclear transfer - the technique used to create Dolly the sheep and other cloned animals, according to details published in the science journal Cell.
The scientists took skin cells from a child with a genetic disease and fused them with donated human eggs to create human embryos that were genetically identical to the child. The stem cells were extracted from those embryos.
The researchers said their goal was to advance therapeutic cloning - a technique that creates stem cells genetically identical to a specific patient that can then be used to grow any type of cell found in the body. Using these cells in transplant operations would reduce the risk of rejection.
The technique has never succeeded in the past. A claim by South Korean researchers to have done so in 2005 was later discredited.Author: Andy Goldberg