Goodbye Dolly

Dolly scientist abandons cloning

The scientist who led the team that controversially created Dolly the sheep is abandoning the cloning of human embryos in stem cell research.

Professor Ian Wilmut, of Edinburgh University, believes a rival method developed in Japan holds the key to curing serious medical conditions.
The eventual aim is to grow replacement tissue as body parts become worn out.

There is some way to go before Prof Yamanaka's method can be used to grow tissue for transplantation as the resulting cells are unstable and potentially cancerous.

But Prof Wilmut believes that within five years the new technique could provide a better and ethically more acceptable alternative to cloning embryos for medical research.

Josephine Quintavalle, spokeswoman for Comment on Reproductive Ethics which is against the use of human embryos, welcomed the move.

She said: "At last scientists are starting to see reason. It is a gift to us all. We are at last going to see some common sense coming into the debate."

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