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April 21, 2014

Cloning Advance Using Stem Cells from Human Adult Reopens Ethical Questions

(Washington Post) – Scientists have grown stem cells from adults using cloning techniques for the first time — bringing them closer to developing patient-specific lines of cells that can be used to treat a whole host of ailments, from heart disease to blindness. The research, described in Thursday’s online edition of the journal Cell Stem Cell, is a controversial advance likely to reopen the debate over the ethics of human cloning.

April 18, 2014

Scientists Make First Embryo Clone from Adults

(The Wall Street Journal) – Scientists for the first time have cloned cells from two adults to create early-stage embryos, and then derived tissue from those embryos that perfectly matched the DNA of the donors. The experiment represents another advance in the quest to make tissue in the laboratory that could treat a range of maladies, from heart attacks to Alzheimer’s. The study, involving a 35-year-old man and one age 75, was published Thursday in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

April 11, 2014

A New Edition of Journal of Medical Ethics is Available

Journal of Medical Ethics (Volume 40, No. 4, April 2014) is now available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Freedom and moral enhancement” by Michael J Selgelid
  • “The duty to be Well-informed: The case of depression” by Charlotte Blease
  • “Approaches to suffering at the end of life: the use of sedation in the USA and Netherlands” by Judith AC Rietjens, et al.
  • “Moral concerns with sedation at the end of life” by Charles Douglas
  • “Genetic modifications for personal enhancement: a defence” by Timothy F Murphy
  • “Voluntary moral enhancement and the survival-at-any-cost bias” by  Vojin Rakić
  • “Embryonic viability, parental care and the pro-life thesis: a defence of Bovens” by Jonathan Surovell
  • “Differentiating between human and non-human interspecies embryos” by Calum MacKellar

March 28, 2014

Researchers Claim Stem Cell Advance

(Los Angeles Times) – In a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature, researchers said they had successfully generated embryonic stem cells using fertilized mouse embryos — a feat that many scientists had thought was impossible. In a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature, researchers said they had successfully generated embryonic stem cells using fertilized mouse embryos — a feat that many scientists had thought was impossible.

January 22, 2014

Don’t rush to rehabilitate Hwang

As readers will see, the article is not a show of support for Hwang’s research. Nor is it an attack. It is the story of a rare event: a scientist attempting with some success to dig himself out from the depths of ignominy. It is a journalistic exercise, not a scientific endorsement. And it was commissioned to mark the ten-year anniversary of the first paper — now retracted — in which Hwang claimed to have created cloned human embryonic stem-cell lines. (Nature)

January 15, 2014

Cloning comeback

If the stain cannot be washed away, perhaps it can be stamped out of memory by hundreds of paws and hooves. With private funding from steadfast fans, Hwang opened Sooam in July 2006. He has since cloned hundreds of animals — dogs, cows, pigs and coyotes. His goals include producing drugs, curing diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, providing transplantable organs, saving endangered species and relieving grief-stricken pet owners. He has a raft of publications in respectable journals, collaborations within and outside South Korea, and increasing institutional support from government agencies. (Nature)

October 31, 2013

Cloning fast facts

Here’s a look at what you need to know about cloning, a process of creating an identical copy of an original. (CNN)

October 24, 2013

Dog cloning to arrive in Britain

British dog owners are to be given the chance to clone their pet by a company which claims to have already recreated dozens of prized canines in the U.S. (The Telegraph)

August 26, 2013

I want to clone your hand: Strange effort to clone John Lennon moves forward

Spending $31,000 for one of John Lennon’s teeth in 2011 was only the start of Michael Zuk’s strange behavior: The Canadian dentist wants to clone the late Beatles legend, and his mad-scientist plan to do so is moving forward. (Time)

August 2, 2013

Top French court backs stem-cell research

France’s top court approved a law on Thursday making it easier to conduct research on human embryos and stem cells as long as strict rules are followed to prevent cloning. (Chicago Tribune)

July 12, 2013

A lesson in ethics from the citizen scientists

In the risky field of synthetic biology, it’s the amateurs who are behaving responsibly. (The Telegraph)

June 27, 2013

Mouse cloned from drop of blood

Circulating blood cells collected from the tail of a donor mouse were used to produce the clone, a team at the Riken BioResource Center reports in the journal Biology of Reproduction. The female mouse lived a normal lifespan and could give birth to young, say the researchers. (BBC)

June 13, 2013

Cloning debate: Stem-cell researchers must stay engaged

Recent developments have rekindled the ethical debate over human cloning. This is no time for complacency, caution Martin Pera and Alan Trounson. (Nature, by subscription only)

June 4, 2013

US scientists chafe at restrictions on new stem-cell lines

The announcement last month of a long-awaited breakthrough in stem-cell research — the creation of stem-cell lines from a cloned human embryo — has revived interest in using embryonic stem cells to treat disease. But US regulations mean that many researchers will be watching those efforts from the sidelines. (Nature)

Cloning contest: Most beloved UK pooch wins

Puppy lovers in the United Kingdom may soon get a chance to extend their dog years, thanks to an odd new contest: A South Korean company wants to clone the most beloved U.K. pooch — again raising ethical questions about the practice of pet cloning. (NBC News)

May 30, 2013

Cloning breakthrough highlights an alternative source for stem cells

Altered Nuclear Transfer (ANT), like Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (cloning), utilizes the nucleus of a somatic cell, to swap into that of a human egg in order ultimately to generate patient specific pluripotent stem cells. But in the ANT process, scientists alter the nuclear make-up of the cell or the egg prior to transfer, ensuring that no viable human embryo is possible even in principle from the get-go. (Forbes)

May 23, 2013

Stem-cell cloner acknowledges errors in groundbreaking paper

A blockbuster paper that reported the creation of human stem cell lines via cloning has come under fire. An anonymous online commenter found four problems in the paper, which was published online 15 May in the journal Cell. (Nature)

May 16, 2013

Human stem cells created by cloning

It was hailed some 15 years ago as the great hope for a biomedical revolution: the use of cloning techniques to create perfectly matched tissues that would someday cure ailments ranging from diabetes to Parkinson’s disease. Since then, the approach has been enveloped in ethical debate, tainted by fraud and, in recent years, overshadowed by a competing technology. Most groups gave up long ago on the finicky core method — production of patient-specific embryonic stem cells (ESCs) from cloning. A quieter debate followed: do we still need ‘therapeutic’ cloning? (Nature)

Experiment brings human cloning one step closer

Scientists have used cloning technology to transform human skin cells into embryonic stem cells, an experiment that may revive the controversy over human cloning. The researchers stopped well short of creating a human clone. But they showed, for the first time, that it is possible to create cloned embryonic stem cells that are genetically identical to the person from whom they are derived. (The Wall Street Journal)

March 7, 2013

De-extinction: Can cloning bring extinct species back to life?

At some point in the next decade, if advances in biotechnology continue on their current path, clones of extinct species such as the passenger pigeon, Tasmanian tiger and wooly mammoth could once again live among us. (Scientific American)

January 23, 2013

‘I can create Neanderthal baby, I just need a willing woman’

A scientist has said it would be possible to clone a Neanderthal baby from ancient DNA if he could find a woman willing to act as a surrogate. (The Telegraph)

 

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