USA Today on Wednesday examined human embryonic stem cell research before and after a team at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, led by Ian Wilmut, created the cloned sheep known as "Dolly." Renee Reijo Pera, an associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive services at the University of California-San Francisco, said, "You can almost divide science into two segments: Before Dolly and After Dolly." Before Dolly was created in 1996, scientists developed cloned animals from embryonic cells, but Dolly was cloned using an adult cell, which is "key in the promise and much of the controversy of the technology," USA Today reports. Scientists hope to be able to create an embryonic clone of a person that allows scientists to produce "rejection-free transplant tissue," but "right-to-life advocates" oppose the destruction of human embryos, according to USA Today. In addition, William Hurlbut, a biochemist at Stanford University and member of the President's Council on Bioethics, said Dolly signaled a technology that could have a "fundamental impact on human existence." He added, "The world community was faced with a scientific change that everyone could understand. It wasn't highly technical; it had a face-to-face reality" (Weise, USA Today, 7/5).

NPR's "Morning Edition" on Wednesday reported on cloning and stem cell research 10 years after Dolly. The segment includes comments -- some of them from archived audio -- from Brigitte Boisselier, chief scientist at Clonaid who in December 2002 announced that the group had produced the first-ever human clone, a seven-pound female infant born to a 31-year-old U.S. woman at an undisclosed location overseas; Michael Roberts, a professor of veterinary science at the University of Missouri; Richard Seed, a physicist in Illinois who was one of the first researchers to work publicly on human cloning; and Wilmut (Palca, "Morning Edition," NPR, 7/5). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.

"Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork/dailyreports/healthpolicy. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation . © 2005 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

Tag Cloud