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Medicine Science

Human "Cloning" Makes Embryonic Stem Cells 111

Med-trump writes "Scientists at the New York Stem Cell Foundation Laboratory have reprogrammed an adult human egg cell to an embryonic state using cloning technology and created a self-reproducing line of embryonic stem cells from the developing embryo. Lead researcher Dr Dieter Egli said: 'The cells we have made are not yet for therapeutic use. There is clearly more work to be done, this is early days. We see this as a step on that road, so now we do know that a human egg can turn an adult specialised cell, such as a skin cell, into a stem cell.'"
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Human "Cloning" Makes Embryonic Stem Cells

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  • Re:Excellent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @07:51PM (#37619390) Journal

    Not sure where you gents get your news, but the juvenile bias certainly shows ("anti-choice"? Really? Grow up already).

    Nobody with any sense complains about adult stem cells. Each adult has billions, if not trillions of those to spare. Nobody has to die in order to procure them.

    Now how about you tell us how successful embryonic cells are versus adult stem cells? I'll save the arguments - the adult cells tend to work far better for the intended purpose. Turning those same cells into 'embryonic' ones may lead somewhere, they may not. OTOH, it still means the source wasn't a separate and distinct human being that had to be destroyed in order to produce them (which is the whole kick against the embryonic ones in the first place), so I don't foresee any major (or credible) theological or moral opposition to the idea.

    Now, where are those downmods from scores of angry people, most of whom cannot comprehend an opposition based on one honest moral concept?

  • Re:Excellent (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Phyvo ( 876321 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:10PM (#37619712)

    As a pro-lifer I'd just like to chime in that I didn't look at the word cloning and then make up my mind to outlaw it.

    While I'm far more socially conservative.than most people here for sure I like doing research into how this kind of thing is done before I reach any kind of moral decision, especially in the complicated world of stem cells and stem cell research.

  • by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:20PM (#37620880) Homepage

    They took an egg. They inserted a full copy of the DNA, and the egg did what eggs normally do when they have a full copy of DNA: it started growing. The difference from previous attempts is that the single chromosome set that originally was in the egg was left in, when usually, it's removed. That difference led to different results. Previous attempts to clone humans have failed after a few cell divisions, but now the cells are able to continually divide! There's an extra set of chromosomes, which means the produced cells aren't really useful for clinical use, but it's a step in the right direction.

    Your analogy describes turning one kind of fully-grown and mature cell into something completely and utterly different, like turning a skin cell into a neuron. A more apt analogy for this process is turning a half-installed Debian system into a booting Red Hat system by just reinstalling over the half-installed copy. It boots and seems functional enough, but you know it's not quite right.

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