Experiment Brings Human Cloning One Step Closer

The Wall Street Journal reports: “Scientists have used cloning technology to transform human skin cells into embryonic stem cells, an experiment that may revive the controversy over human cloning.

The researchers stopped well short of creating a human clone. But they showed, for the first time, that it is possible to create cloned embryonic stem cells that are genetically identical to the person from whom they are derived.

These stem cells could go on to differentiate into heart, nerve, muscle, bone and all the other tissue types that make up a human body.

Since the birth of Dolly the sheep in 1996, researchers have cloned about 20 species, including rabbits, goats, cows and cats. Yet they have been unable to create biologically identical copies of any monkey or primate, including humans, possibly because their reproductive biology is more complicated.

But the refinements described … in the latest experiment suggest that ‘it’s a matter of time before they produce a cloned monkey,’ said Jose Cibelli, a cloning expert at Michigan State University, who wasn’t involved in the study. It also means, he added, ‘that they are one step closer to where the efficiency is high enough that someone is willing to try’ to clone a person, though that remains a distant—and to some, disturbing—prospect…” (“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased – Daniel 12:4.)