After Long Ethical Review, Harvard Moves Into Research Cloning

In Science:

After more than 2 years of what Harvard Provost Steven Hyman called “the most extensive ethical and scientific review in recent memory,” Harvard University researchers have been given the go-ahead to use cloning to create disease-specific lines of human embryonic stem cells.

Experts say research cloning–known as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)–will give scientists a far more effective tool for studying diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson’s. But some people oppose the technique for religious and philosophical reasons because it involves creating and destroying fertilized eggs, and the procedure is banned in some states. There are no reports of success with SCNT, now that the research of Korean scientist Woo Suk Hwang was discredited (ScienceNOW, 12 May).