A Human Bovine Hybrid

John Clark (jonkc@worldnet.att.net)
Thu, 12 Nov 1998 12:16:56 -0500

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More big news from biology, today another company "Advanced Cell Technology" (ACT) announced that they too have produced Human Embryonic Stem Cells but their technique is superior and they did it over 2 years ago. In 1996 Dr. Jose Cibelli obtained a cow egg cell from a slaughterhouse and destroyed the nucleus in it, he then took one of his own cells from inside his cheek and removed the nucleus from it and inserted it into the cow egg cell. It started to divide as if it had been fertilized normally, he stopped it before it developed into an embryo but not before he obtained Jose Cibelli's own personal stem cells. Some say the bovine mitochondria DNA will cause problems but most think it should work as well and even if it didn't the few human mitochondria that inevitably follow the nucleus during the transfer procedure would be enough to take up the slack.

ACT filed for a patent at the time but, fearing a negative reaction from the superstitious over a human bovine hybrid, kept their discovery secret. The announcement from rival Geron Corporation a few days ago made them come out of the closet. Meanwhile medical ethicists are doing what medical ethicists do, whine and fuss and moan.

John K Clark jonkc@att.net

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