by Progress Educational Trust, http://www.progress.org.uk)
Ian Wilmut, the scientist behind the cloning of Dolly the
is to make the first application to clone human embryos in the
If the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh approves his idea, it will then
be considered by various committees of the Human Fertilisation and
Embryology Authority (HFEA).
wants to derive embryonic stem cells from cloned
human embryos made using the nuclear transfer technique that was
used to produce Dolly. However, he has firmly stated that he has no
intention of cloning embryos for reproductive purposes, believing this
to be unethical and unsafe.
His application has
been put forward to the institute's ethics and
management committee. If it is approved by them, Professor Wilmut said
the application will go to the HFEA; 'we expect the whole process
to take about six months', he said.
Erratum: in last week's
edition of BioNews, the emphasis of the article
on EU embryonic stem (ES) cell funding was wrong. Whilst it said
that EU funds will be able to 'be given over to existing projects,
but funding for any new ES cell research will be subject to a
moratorium for at least one year', this omitted to make clear that applications
for funding for projects that use already isolated or banked
ES cells can be made from January 2003.