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Study Reports Successful Cloning of Human Embryo Using Adult DNA
Date:1/17/2008

rts from a South Korean research group. Amidst this background of controversy, the researchers took extraordinary steps to ensure that their experiments were properly conducted and documented. These included approval by an independent review board and confirmation of the genetic results by an independent laboratory, among other steps.

The ability to generate stem cells using the patient's own DNA holds great promise for the treatment of currently incurable degenerative diseases, as well as for cell-based drug discovery. Previous studies reporting the development of cloned human embryos have used embryonic stem cells as the DNA donors.

"This study demonstrates, for the first time, that SCNT can be utilized to generate cloned human blastocysts using differentiated adult donor nuclei remodeled and reprogrammed by human oocytes," the researchers write. They believe that some key technical factors contributed to their successful results, including the use of freshly donated oocytes from successful egg donors.

While the study is an important step toward the development of stem cells for therapeutic cloning, much more research will be needed to confirm and extend the results. Dr. French comments, "The data we present are not in any way the final word on this topic, but, we anticipate, just one of many publications from a variety of researchers who will use a variety of methods to conduct and analyze similar experiments."

Dr. Miodrag Stojkovic, Co-Editor of "Stem Cells," comments: "These researchers have for the first time developed cloned embryos up to blastocyst stage using adult somatic [skin] cells as donor cells. This is a key advance in the development of patient-specific stem cell lines for therapeutic and drug development purposes. Although these results are preliminary since no stem cell lines have been derived from the cloned embryos, this may now be attempted."

The article, entitled "Development of Human Cloned Blastocysts Follo
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SOURCE AlphaMed Press
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