Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Scientist who cloned Dolly has change of heart

Over at Adult Stem Cell Awareness there is a discussion about geneticist Ian Wilmut, who cloned Dolly the sheep. No, he hasn't converted to Catholicism, as far as I know. He simply recognizes the fact that Adult Stem Cells are far more promising and worth the effort of scientists.

Family Research Council reports below:
Here Goes 'Mutton': Dolly Creator Rejects Cloning
This past weekend, the movement to ban cloning got some help from an unlikely source--the scientist most famous for attempting it.

Professor Ian Wilmut, the creator of Dolly the sheep, publicly announced his decision to abandon "therapeutic cloning" and turn his attention to pro-life alternatives such as those being perfected in Japan with adult stem cells. He believes the "socially acceptable" approach "represents the future for stem cell research," rather than the nuclear transfer method he and his team used 10 years ago in creating Dolly. Although Wilmut was given the go-ahead to pursue human cloning in 2005, the professor has since declined. His decision, on the heels of last week's news that scientists had successfully cloned primates, should put a serious damper on any enthusiasm for projects that require the creation and destruction of cloned embryos.
For all of the hype surrounding the monkey breakthrough, a couple of key details were lost on the media. For starters, the team leader of the Oregon primate program, Dr. Shoukhrat Mitalipov, admitted that the "efficiency is low" for the research and it is "not yet a cost effective medical option." Also, some reports estimated that it took over 15,000 monkey eggs to yield just two lines of embryonic stem cells, only one of which is normal. Meanwhile, as scientists waste precious time and resources on a procedure that the majority of the world considers morally unacceptable, pro-life alternatives are effectively treating everything from juvenile diabetes to spinal cord injuries--without the ethical headache. We can only hope that Wilmut's conversion will pull the wool from the eyes of the public, which should result in Congress turning away from spending more taxpayer money on embryonic stem cell research that is both unethical and ineffective.

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