R7

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Monday, March 21, 2005

Harvard University OK's Human Cloning Experiments

Harvard University has just announced that it will start experiments in creating cloned human beings for use in destructive medical experiments. Harvard has approved a proposal to start cloning human beings to use them for their stem cells while still in the embryonic stage of life. The theory of those who support such research is that the stem cells obtained from cloned embryos may be able to cure diseases without risk of immune system rejection. However, since no clone has ever been produced that was free of severe genetic defects, many responsible scientists have denounced such proposals.

University Provost Steven E. Hyman has approved the form of cloning using the nucleus of a body - or somatic - cell which is inserted it into a human ovum. This method, called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) is one of many scientists have used to create cloned embryos. (SCNT) was made famous when it was used to create Dolly the cloned sheep who died of a variety of genetic difficulties at an early age.

The Boston Globe broke the story yesterday using a now-standard media disinformation technique, only referring to the cloned embryos as 'cells.' The university concluded that the proposed experiments are "ethically sound and scientifically important." Dr. Steven E. Hyman, Harvard provost, said, "'I want to see the science progress within acceptable ethical boundaries."

The decision comes at a time when the Massachusetts state is considering legislation that would prohibit human cloning and the United Nations passed a non-binding resolution banning the practice.

The researcher who proposed the experiments, Douglas Melton, is the head of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and has been in the forefront of a massive lobbying effort against President Bush's limitation on public funding for embryo experiments. Melton has produced 28 batches of human embryonic stem cells and has offered them free to researchers are part of his campaign.

In the meantime, the diseases cited by the Globe reporter as waiting for cloned stem cells for a cure, are being successfully treated now by adult stem cells. Diabetes and Parkinson's disease are two among a long list of illnesses and injuries that have been cured or treated using stem cells derived from the patient's own body.

BOSTON, March 21, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com)

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