The Niche

Chimeras are coming: UK allows animal eggs for human cloning

The regulatory body that approves all research on human eggs has just been given the green light for the production of chimeras.

Here is the article from the AP. The idea is that, with human eggs in short supply, researchers should be allowed to practice techniques on more readily available animal eggs. Also, several researchers believe the process can answer questions about how and to what extent an egg resets a nucleus from an adult cell into an embryonic state.

Ian Wilmut (who cloned Dolly the Sheep) put for the scientific rationale for chimeras last year. It’s called Man or beast? Man and beast!

Nature Reports has several related articles.

A summary of the UK Academy of Medical Science’s position paper on human-animal chimeras

In a research highlight, the scientist who cloned frogs has studied how nuclei in cloned embryos remember the differentiated cells they came from.

Following the finding that, at least in mice, fertilized eggs could be used for cloning, we looked at the implications for humans and at the power of the egg to reprogram.

Also, an article on successful monkey cloning showed the necessity of good technique.

And recent news coverage describes advances in cloning human embryos from adult cells.


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