Posted: January 17, 2008, 4:51 PM by Alia McMullen
Californian doctors say they have used their chief executive's DNA to create the world's first cloned human embryo using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) .
Doctors at private embryonic stem cell research company Stemagen created the cloned human embryo by removing the nuclei of mature egg cells donated by healthy young women and inserting the cells with DNA from the company's chief executive, Samuel Wood, M.D., Ph.D. The DNA was taken from a type of cell found in skin biopsies.
Mr. Wood said the achievement was "a critical milestone in the development of patient-specific embryonic stem cells for human therapeutic use, potentially including developing treatments for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other degenerative diseases."
"No other scientific group has documented the cloning of an adult human cell, much less been able to grow it to the blastocyst stage, the stage at which it is the adult donor cell that is driving embryonic development, the stage that yields the cells (the inner cell mass) from which embryonic stem cell lines are made," Andrew French, chief scientific officer at Stemagen said.
Stemagen's research is detailed in a paper published in today's issue of scientific journal Stem Cells.
S.D. firm's work major step toward creating stem cell lines
By Terri Somers
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
January 17, 2008
Video of the somatic cell nuclear transfer process used by San Diego-based Stemagen.
A team at the tiny San Diego biotechnology company Stemagen has become the first to document its successful cloning of human embryos by fusing donated egg cells with the DNA from skin cells of an adult man, according to an article that will be published online today by the journal Stem Cells.
The company's work, led by chief science officer Andrew French, is a major step toward creating embryonic stem cell lines from cloned human embryos, or cells that are specific to one person and capable of evolving into the 200 different cell types in the body.
Theoretically such cells one day could be used as a human toolbox: Someone's own embryonic stem cells could be transplanted into that person without the fear of rejection and could replace cells destroyed by diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson's.
The process, known as therapeutic cloning, has plenty of opponents because the embryo theoretically could be implanted into a woman's uterus for reproduction.
As human cloning advances, ethics debate gets louder
Reproductive cloning is illegal in California, and Stemagen said it stuck to a research protocol that met all current medical and ethical standards.
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