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Scientists Announce Cloned Human Embryo
No Plans To Clone Human, Company Says
Scientists in Massachusetts say they've cloned an early human embryo, the first successful experiment of its kind. Advanced Cell Technology, Inc., in Worcester, Mass., announced it has accomplished the first successful cloning of a human embryo. It has yet to produce the coveted stems cells that grow inside an embryo and could be used one day to help as treatment for a wide range of diseases.
In an interview with CNN, Advanced Cell president Michael West said the intention of the work is to "take a patient's cell back in time" with the goal of creating the patient's own embryonic stem cells.
Those cells could be used to cure afflications such as Parkinson's disease and diabetes and to help patients recover from accidents such as spinal cord injuries, West said.
"We've done the first step toward what we call therapeutic cloning," West said.
In the CNN interview, West emphasized that his organization has no interest at present in transplanting such early embryos into a woman's womb in order to give birth to a cloned human.
"They're only cellular life. They are not human life," West said.
The scientists findings have been published in The Journal of Regenerative Medicine.
Several states, including California, have banned human cloning. Congress is considering such a ban.
-- Anonymous, November 25, 2001