Sunday, August 27, 2006

Stem-cell method preserves embryo

Massachusetts scientists announced yesterday that they have created the first human embryonic stem cells using a technique that does not require the destruction of an embryo -- an advance they said could end the bitter political standoff over stem-cell research.

The new research, performed at the Worcester laboratories of the biotech firm Advanced Cell Technology , shows that a single cell from an early embryo can be used to generate embryonic stem cells. Fertility clinics can already remove a single cell from an embryo to test for genetic defects, and the ACT team suggests this procedure could be adapted to create embryonic stem cells. Such cells now are created by destroying embryos.

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