Genetics

05 February 2009

Early-stage embryos cloned

In a breakthrough that may lead to new treatments for Parkinson's disease, a Chinese team of scientists has succeeded in cloning five early-stage human embryos.

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In a breakthrough that may lead to new treatments for Parkinson's disease, a Chinese team of scientists has succeeded in cloning five early-stage human embryos (blastulas).

At a joint press conference held by the Shandong Stem Cell Engineering Research Centre and a hospital in Yantai, the researchers said that the experiment created five blastual clones from 135 eggs.

Of the five blastulas, four were from skin fibrocytes of healthy donors while the fifth was from lymphocytes of patients with Parkinson's disease, the researchers said in a press release.

Research team leader Li Jianyuan said the new cloning technology was expected to aid in the medical treatment of patients suffering, among others, from Parkinson's disease.

A top scientist in animal cloning, Chen Dayuan, praised the experiment, saying the generation of human blastulas would hopefully heal patients by replacing cells and organs under pathological change with ones their bodies had developed by healthy means.

The web edition of the journal Cloning and Stem Cells reported the Chinese scientific achievement on January 27, 2009.

(Sapa-dpa, February 2009)

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