KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Controversy Lurks As Cloning Technique Yields Embryos For Use In Stem Cell Therapies

Political and ethical fights over human cloning may follow the latest stem cell therapy advance after scientists created embryos that are genetic copies of living people in an effort to treat diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Los Angeles Times: For First Time, Stem Cells Are Produced From Cloning Technique
For the first time, scientists have created human embryos that are genetic copies of living people and used them to make stem cells — a feat that paves the way for treating a range of diseases with personalized body tissues but also ignites fears of human cloning. If replicated in other labs, the methods detailed Wednesday in the journal Cell would allow researchers to fashion human embryonic stem cells that are custom-made for patients with Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and other health problems (Healy, 5/15).

NPR: Cloning, Stem Cells Long Mired In Legislative Gridlock
The news that U.S. scientists have successfully cloned a human embryo seems almost certain to rekindle a political fight that has raged, on and off, since the announcement of the creation of Dolly the sheep in 1997. "The issue of legislation on human cloning is about to get hot again," says Hank Greely, director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford Law School (Rovner, 5/16).

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