Dolly The Sheep Scientist Abandons Human Embryo Cloning, Saying Japanese Technique Is The Future
Professor Ian Wilmut, Edinburgh University, who led the team that created Dolly the sheep - a cloned sheep - says he is abandoning the cloning of human embryos as a Japanese method is the best one for stem cell research and the future. Wilmut added that the Japanese method has the best chance of leading to effective cures for chronic conditions and diseases. Wilmut says he had met with his team and they all agreed.
This has pleased the pro-life lobby because the Japanese method used fragments of skin to create stem cells, not human embryos.
The Japanese technique, developed by Professor Shinya Yamanaka, Kyoto University, modifies adult cells so that they become virtually as flexible as stem cells. Yamanaka has been experimenting on laboratory mice.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, a UK newspaper, Wilmut said “The work which was described from Japan of using a technique to change cells from a patient directly into stem cells without making an embryo has got so much more potential. Even though it’s only been described for the mouse, when we were considering which option to pursue, whether to clone or whether to copy the work in Japan, we decided to copy the work in Japan.”
Wilmut told The Telegraph that it won’t be too long before we can utilize Yamanaka’s approach in the same way we have been using embryonic stem cells. In the long term, the direct reprogramming will be more productive.
A few weeks ago Wilmut had decided not to pursue the method he and his team had used to create Dolly the sheep (nuclear transfer) - he added that this new method is “easier to accept socially”.
Wilmut believes that within the next five years new techniques will make sure Yamanaka’s technique will be such that growing tissue for transplantation will not be potentially cancerous or unstable.
— works at , Scotland
— works at , Japan
Written by - Christian Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today