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Hybrid embryos support

15th January 2008

Some of the UK's top scientists have spoken out in order to urge members of the House of Lords not to vote against researchers using human-animal hybrid embryos.


The Medical Research Council, the Royal Society, the Wellcome Trust and the Academy of Medical Sciences have all given their support to the use of such embryos.

The four institutions released a document to clarify why they supported the use of the embryos.

"This research has massive potential to provide treatments for serious debilitating disorders...the UK's strengths in this field present valuable opportunities to influence the international agenda".

The document says that the embryos should be called "human admixed" embryos. This is because the majority of the embryo is human, with the addition of a miniscule proportion of animal DNA.

The scientists also want doctors to be able to provide stem cell treatment if they are proven to work well.

The government is currently seeking to amend the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. One of the amendments to the bill is to allow researchers to make animal-human hybrid embryos for testing.

Lord Alton, a member of the Parliamentary Pro-Life group, has put forward a proposal that would ban the use and creation of such embryos.

Josephine Quintavalle of the campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE) said that the fight against hybrid embryos would carry on.

"If total prohibition is not possible there, then at the very least we would like to see robust measures imposed," she said.

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Article Information

Title: Hybrid embryos support
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 5342
Date Added: 15th Jan 2008


BBC News

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