Scientists clone human embryos
Copyright © 1999 Nando Media
Copyright © 1999 Agence France-Press
LONDON (June 16, 1999 9:43 p.m. EDT
http://www.nandotimes.com) - American scientists have cloned the first human embryos, the London Daily Mail reported on Thursday.
Using methods similar to those which produce Dolly the cloned sheep at Edinburgh's Roslin Institute, they produced a male embryo comprising nearly 400 cells, according to the British tabloid.
The scientists at the Massachusetts-based Advanced Cell Technology then incinerated it after two days.
They want to produce human body tissue which can be used to treat patients with various conditions, including nerve damage, diabetes and Parkinson's disease.
A DNA-loaded nucleus of a human cell was extracted from a skin sample from a man's leg and then inserted into the outer protein of a hollowed out cow's egg under laboratory conditions, said the Mail.
The egg was then placed in a laboratory dish and soaked in a chemical solution which fooled it into thinking it was a newly conceived embryo.
The cells then began to develop into an embryo, according to the Daily Mail.
Since the first embryo was cloned last November, the company is thought to have made many more, incinerating them all, in line with U.S. research lines, before they reached the age of 14 days, said the newspaper.
Too bad they have to destroy them...