British team in cloning success

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The Independent Online

A human embryo has been cloned for the first time in Britain, scientists have announced.

A human embryo has been cloned for the first time in Britain, scientists have announced.

Although a long way behind the Korean development, a team of scientists at Newcastle University has produced a blastocyst - a tiny, early-stage embryo consisting of a hollow ball of cells - cloned from a human cell using nuclear transfer. The team was the first in Britain to obtain a licence to carry out therapeutic cloning for stem cell research.

The Newcastle scientists welcomed the Korean achievement. Two of the team, Professor Alison Murdoch, who chairs the British Fertility Society, and Dr Miodrag Stojkovic, said in a joint statement: "We are delighted to hear of the great progress that is being made by Professor Hwang and his colleagues.

"We welcome their decision to publish the details of this breakthrough so thoroughly that other scientists will now be able to repeat and develop their work. During the past nine months in Newcastle, our research in nuclear transfer has progressed well. Our preliminary data will be published soon."

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