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Human Cloning Headlines

Frequent human cloning updates

These human cloning news stories are updated from searches of 100,000 global publications and newspapers. 13,530 separate news stories / articles / features on human cloning or animal cloning in the last 12 months alone.  See below for human cloning links, human cloning videos (RealVideo) etc.  These web pages have had over 4.5 million hits in last 12 months, mainly on human cloning and genetic engineering. Author Dr Patrick Dixon.

Two separate animal cloning studies show insulin producing cells can be made from a cloned animal embryo. New York's Rockefeller University and Sloan-Kettering Institute made a cloned embryo from a mouse tail cell combined with a mouse egg - work led by Teruhiko Wakayama. This fuels debate over human cloning experiments, where the aim is to create an embryo for medical research, rather than for implantation. Similar cloning experiment conducted by U.S. National Institutes of Health - Ron McKay. Wall Street Journal reporting Science Journal 27 April 2001

UK announces ban on human cloning - but read the small print. Fact: Parliament has only just approved human cloning experiments (January 2001 see below) for medical research, and now it emerges that there is an embarrassing gap in law, which means a doctor implanting such a cloned embryo could not be prosecuted. In theory it would breach guidelines by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority - but these could be altered at any time on w whim of an unelected committee, dominated by research scientists. Fact: many laws were drawn up before human cloning was thought possible. So for example you can have laws covering fertilization and the products of it - but a clone is NOT a product of fertilization. Human clones are made as embryos by combining an adult or child cell with an egg from which the genes have been removed. The Herald 20 April 2001

New animal cloning centre for China. Hong Kong Pharmaceutical Holdings has teamed with the Yangzhou University to build a cloning research centre.
The research centre - Yanda HKP Genetic Engineering - will comprise Yangzhou University's embryonic engineering laboratory and cellular cloning laboratory. South China Morning Post 20 April 2001

Cloned cows die after birth. Three cows cloned by scientists at California State University at Chico were born healthy on March 9, but two of the calves died last week of abrupt immune system failure, and the third is failing. These problems are common and show dangers of human cloning. Many animals cloned have had obvious mutations but others die shortly after birth even though they look normal. Bell and Howell Information and Learning 13 April 2001

Australia has been home to secret human cloning experiments for two years. Researchers implanted a cell containing human DNA into a pig in 1999 but terminated the embryo after it lived for 32 days. The experiment was carried out by Melbourne company Stemcell Sciences. The Federal government denies that such a hybrid is a human clone and therefore says that human cloning has NOT taken place - (playing with words - Ed). New Zealand Herald 13 March 2001

Australia human cloning laws effective from June 200 may not prevent births. The Gene Technology Act 2000 imposes long prison sentences and fines of up to $A200,000 for trying to clone human beings or to create human-animal hybrids. A new body, the Gene Technology Regulator, is being set up to ensure the industry's compliance with the laws. But people may just fly to another country to do the implantation eg New Zealand which has no laws on human cloning. Autralian Business Intelligence 13 March 2001

Could Israel be the location of human cloning experiments? Big denials by Israeli government that human cloning scientists might be planning work in Israel - banned under law. The Mercury Tasmania 13 March 2001

Italian Professor Severino Antinori and Panos Zavos claim they are going ahead with human cloning for women who are infertile despite the ban on Italian human cloning experiments. Antinori is well known for implanting IVF embryos into a 62 year old woman, who later gave birth In a separate move, politicians in Germany have condemned the British Parliament for approving creation of human clones for experimental research into treatments for illnesses such as Parkinson's Disease."To breed a human being only to kill it, disembowel it and impregnate something with it - that's basically cannibalism." Germany has banned such work, as has France. With high risks of creating a human clone with severe physical handicap - who is going to provide healthcare insurance or medicolegal cover? Various reports January 2001

Numerous reports from around the world in Jan/Feb 2001 of fresh attempts to clone human embryos, ranging from Clonaid saying they hope to implant embryos into surrogate mothers in February, to Australian scientists saying they have managed to make a human cloned embryo by combining an empty pig egg with a human cell (see below for similar experiments in cows). Their cloned human embryo divided to 32 cells before being destroyed. In other words it seems that the empty eggs from animals contain all that is needed to activate human genes for successful human cloning. There are huge risks of abnormalities and mutations in these human cloning experiments. We know that these animal-human hybrids are likely to escape legal controls because a court of law would probably decide that this was not human cloning as legally defined. However the outcome - if born - would be a cloned baby which has identical genes in the nucleus of every cell to the adult from which the original cell was taken. Interestingly, 1% of the genes in mammal cells are not in the nucleus but in the power packs providing all the electricity for cells. These power generators are called mitochondria. So technically these human clones made from animal eggs would have 1% animal DNA. Worryingly we know that there are many serious diseases in humans caused by faulty genes in the mitochondria. But that is with human mitochondria. What will be the risk of problems with animal mitochondria being used to power every cell in a human cloned child?

UK Parliament approves human cloning for medical research. By a large majority in House of Commons and House of Lords, a new law has been passed permitting creation of human cloned embryos, so long as they are destroyed before implantation. The hope is that stem cells from these embryos can be used to create replacement tissues for heart, liver, brain etc. However the identical technique can be used to make embryos for implantation raising the risk that human clones may be born even sooner around the world - using British technology. Meanwhile a competing technology is catching attention. Bone marrow cells have been removed from mice, treated and injected back into the blood of the same animal. The cells moved automatically around the body, located an area of brain damage and repaired it. Similar experiments with adult stem cells in mice have created replacement liver and muscle tissue. Such techniques could treat humans in future, without any ethicl problems associated with human cloning. Various reports and personal communication after a presentation to the House of Lords in January 2001.

Clonaid says their human cloning experiments could produce world's first cloned baby in less than 18 months. See article / news feature.

Human cloning secrecy: Dr Philip Damian from Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) confesses under pressure on live BBC Wales debate, to Dr Patrick Dixon that ACT is currently carrying out research which they do not want to talk about and won't talk about "for a couple of years". This was in response to the revelation three years after the event that Jose Cibelli of ACT had combined a skin cell and a cow's egg to make a cloned embryo - later destroyed. Dr Damian said that the human cloning news was kept under wraps because of ethical objections and legal problems. Conspiracy of silence on human cloning? - familiar pattern as seen over cloning secrecy with Dolly the sheep. BBC Wales 11am 10 October 2000

Human cloning for the dead? Bessie the cow soon to give birth to cloned Indian bison or gaur. Species under threat. Cloning work by Massachusetts Advanced Cell Technology (ACT). 692 gaur skin cells were combined with cow eggs. 81 embryos began to divide. 8 cows became pregnant. 5 miscarried. Same animal cloning technique will be used to recreate extinct animals such as the Pyrenean mountain goat the bucardo. Human cloning for the dead should be fairly simple after that.... but do we want it? Comment on human cloning follow on using monkey womb. Guardian 9 October 2000

Scientists use pig eggs and human cells in human cloning experiment, avoiding need for human eggs. The pig-human hybrid embryos appeared viable. Similar to human cloning success using cows egg. The scientists say that the pig human embryos could have been implanted in either pig or human wombs. (Ed: I doubt if they would have grown well in pigs). Research disclosed in European patent application. The pig - human work was carried out by Stem Cell Sciences in Australia and Biotransplant in America. TWo pig - human embryos were grown to 32 cells stage, in a week. No technical breach in European law because embryos "not 100% human". (See human cloning "human-cow" feature) Daily Telegraph 7 October 2000, Sunday Time 8 October 2000

Japan: government submits human cloning laws - up to 10 years in prison for any scientist who clones a human being. Maximum human cloning fine will be 10 million yen. Kiyodo News 29 September 2000

Scientists clone two litters of pigs - using embryo cell nuclei and nuclear transfer into empty pig eggs. Infigen carried out the work - a spin-off company of ABS Global, of DeForest, the people who introduced the cloned calf Gene three years ago. The technique is reliable and allows genetic engineering of the embryo before cloning from it. Wisconson State Journal 28 September 2000 also Nature Biotechnology October 2000 

Clonaid says it has full human cloning funding - to go ahead and clone a dead 10 month year old child and has been contacted by many parents who want to clone dead children. It is offering a human cloning service and a helpine to preserve tissue samples from dying or recently dead children until (they hope) they will be able to create their identical twins. (Ed: but what will it do to the cloned children born - an unbearable psychological pressure? Also huge risks of genetic mutation from human cloning). Canada Newswire 25 September 2000

Dad, dad, and the children - Two men could make their own baby - using dolly cloning techniques - claims a scientist. Genetic material from both men would be combined into a single egg which would then be genetically male and equally derived from both. Not quite the same as human cloning but raising many controversial questions. Unlike human cloning, there are a number of big obstacles that would need to be overcome - not least ever present risk of massive genetic mutation. Irish Times 26 September

Edinburgh University faces losing millions of pounds of European funding unless it stops its pioneering research into therapeutic human cloning. European Parliament ruled that all funding should be cut from any university involved in research that uses stem cells from human embryos. £5m is at stake. Sunday Herald 24 September 2000

Cloning of mice does not result in accelerated aging. University of Hawai reports in Nature that mice cloned over six generations had normal life spans - the opposite of other research suggesting that some animals may become genetically older at birth than you would expect, as a result of being created using cloning technology. The stories are confused - another report earlier this year suggested cloning could produce offspring genetically YOUNGER at birth than expected. All this tells us is that human cloning techniques could have unexpected and important effects on the genes, and it is NOT a simple duplication process. Therefore the greatest risks could arise from going ahead with cloning humans. Businesswire / Times of India 22 September 2000

Scientists make liver cells from bone marrow of an adult - without cloning technology being needed. 17 July 2000 

Human cloning for spare part cells (therapeutic cloning) is probably not needed - according to Italian scientists in Nature Neuroscience who have shown that adult nerve stem cells can be triggered to produce nerves in one location , and even muscle tissue in another, all inside the body. These stem cells are much more adaptable than thought, and the key is the chemical triggers produced by neighbouring cells at different stages in human development. These messengers tell each cell who its neighbours are and how it should behave, which genes it should use. By the time therapeutic cloning has been developed, the stem cell technology could have made it all redundant. Daily Telegraph 22 September 2000

Chinese scientists clone second goat "Yangyang" from adult ear cells following death of the world's first cloned goat 36 hours after birth from respiratory failure because of underdeveloped lungs. The first cloned goat "Yuanyuan" was born on 16 June 2000. This is not the first time that cloned animals have been born with lethal mutations for reasons that are unclear. Xinhua News Agency Bulletin 22 June 2000

Some scientists reported to be abandoning cloning because the vast numbers of lethal mutations and other major abnormalities - pigs, cows, goats, mice. In the case of cloned cattle, more than 25% are much larger than normal and many abort spontaneously. Even among those of normal weight, many have underdeveloped lungs, while others have dangerously high levels of blood potassium. However other scientists are pushing on and there seems no sign of the race slowing down to produce the world's first cloned baby. Observer 18 June 2000

Scientists raise doubts about being able to save threatened species from cloning - because of the need with present technology to use eggs from the same species. And also because of the subsequent need for a mate. The Mercury Tasmania 20 June 2000

Only 10% of Canadians are in favour of cloning to make a human. Canada Newswire 16 June 2000

German Scientists say they plan to import human embryo stem cells from the US for research - German Research Association GDR. Human cloning is part of World Health Assembly agenda this week in Geneva. See Embryonic stem cells for human tissues - human cloning next Reuters 20 June 2000

World's first cloned mouse dies 2 years 7 months old - 7 months older than average. Independent 11 May 2000

Dolly's creators announce cloning of five piglets. Much media discussion about the possibility of humanised pigs being a source of transplant organs - three big questions: does it work, is it safe, is it right? Science World April 2000

AN animal-loving Carmarthenshire man's dead dog's DNA stored in the hope that a clone can be made of his pet. Skin samples from black labrador Jack sent to an American company developing technology to clone pets. The nine-year-old dog died of a heart attack in March. PerPETuate in Connecticut arranged to have Jack's genetic code stored. South Wales Evening Post 7 May 2000

The European Commission has created a team of scientists to advise on biotechnological issues in the light of growing consumer concern about the new technology to prepare the way forward for a `biosciences summit', in November 2000. A Eurobarometre poll showed that consumers were becoming more wary about issues such as human cloning and GM plants. Farmers Guardian 2 May 2000

Greenpeace says human cloning has been dropped from a European patent application affecting human cells. Reuters 4 May 2000

South Australia: Matilda, Australia's nation's first cloned sheep and the potential saviour of the struggling wool industry. The two-and-a-half-week-old lamb, born less than a fortnight after the birth in Melbourne of cloned calf Suzi. Matilda born by caesarean section (for unknown reasons cloned calves tend to grow to monster size in womb) on April17 at a SA Research and Development Institute centre near Gawler, north of Adelaide. Age (Melbourne) 4 May 2000

Cloning may reverse aging process. Scientists say claves created by nuclear transfer seem to be genetically younger than expected - their telomeres are longer (ends of genes), indicating that their cells should be able to divide more times before fatal damage occurs. Cloning does all kinds of strange and unpredictable things to cells - for example as seen above, calves grow larger than they should in the womb. Press Association 28 April 2000

Scientists have fused two egg cells from different women - one with the mitochondria remaining but no nucleus, the other with a nucleus. (mitochondria are powerpacks for cells. Mitochondria contain 1% of human genes and are found in the cytoplasm not the nucleus.) The aim is to create an egg that is healthy for women who have mitochondrial disease ( a genetic problem). The technique is very similar indeed to that used in human cloning, though in this case because only the egg genes are transferred, fertilisation is still necessary. Daily Telegraph 27 April 2000

Oregon Regional Primate Research Centre reports 'embryo splitting' to create identical, two-cell embryos from an eight-cell embryo. Just one monkey, named Tetra, survived to birth. Birth of five cloned piglets was announced by Dolly's parent - pun intended - company. Accountancy April 2000

Scientists say they want to attempt to recreate a clone of a frozen mammoth. October 1999

Japan, Australia and other nations move towards a ban on human cloning while cloning scientists continue to press their case to go ahead. 27 September 1999

Strange silence on progress towards human cloning from June to October 1999 - although science is proceeding rapidly. The first mother of a cloned child (or rather the identical sister) will probably receive a cheque for at least $5 million if she agrees to sell exclusive global rights to press, TV and radio access for the first six months.

Dolly the cloned sheep is big business. New cloning partnership between Rosslin Institute (Scotland) and Geron Corporation (California). Rosslin cloned Dolly, Geron Corporation perfected stem cell development, using embryo cells to create cloned human tissues for adults. Geron paid $25.9 million in stock for Rosslin Bio-Med to create Geron Bio-Med. Deal set to make some at Rosslin Institute very wealthy. Observer 9 May 1999

UK doctor proposes human cloning by embryo splitting to create identical cloned twins, one clone to be frozen as backup in case first child dies. Human cloning technology proven by Dr Jerry Hall in Washington DC 1993, different from cloning by nuclear transfer using an adult cell. Paul Rainsbury, consultant gynaecologist at Bupa Roding Hospital Essex says he would consider "recreating" a dead child from a froze clone to ease parental grief. Times of India 30/4/99

Human cloning may produce serious gene mutations: French researchers in Lancet report cow cloned from ear cells had lethal blood and heart defects. Right chamber of clone's heart abnormal and red and white blood cell numbers fell after birth. Clone death from severe anaemia at 51 days. Times 30 April 1999

Cows cloned from mother's milk - human clones could be made from almost any source including saliva, milk and blood implying human cloning without knowledge or consent will be possible. Daily Telegraph (Australia) 28 April 1999

Three goats cloned by Nexia Biotechnologies Canada - next step to use cloning to create goat that secretes spider silk gene in milk, commercial extraction to make BioSteel - strongest, toughest fibre in the world, tensile strength 300,000 pounds per square inch. Stronger and lighter than steel or polymers, uses could be artificial tendons or ligaments and other biodegradable structures in medicine. First cloned goats with new gene will then be breed conventionally. Reuters 28 April 1999

New legislation proposed in South Korea to ban human cloning. South Korea Times 28 April 1999

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