Human cloning application from dolly scientist

(From BioNews 179:14/10/02

Published by Progress Educational Trust, http://www.progress.org.uk)

 

Professor Ian Wilmut, the scientist behind the cloning of Dolly the sheep, is to make the first application to clone human embryos in the UK. 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).

Professor Wilmut 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.