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Source: The Express

Scientists have created a living embryo in a laboratory without using either egg or sperm in ground-breaking but hugely controversial experiments.

The experimental research combined two types of stem cells and created a viable embryo – which the team say would provide an unlimited stock for medical research.

The created embryos would also be used for medical treatment testing and help shed light on one of the biggest infertility enigmas - why embryos fail to implant in the womb.

However critics say it is a huge step towards human cloning. The researchers believe the wonder creation could see mice being cloned in three years time, and humans two decades later.

Lead researcher, Professor Nicholas Rivron of Maastricht University, said the main use for the embryos would be to test drugs and solve the infertility riddle.

He said: “As you know, embryos are very precious, and it is impossible to use to test drugs on them as you don’t have the numbers. “With blastocysts you can open up the numbers. This will allow screening medicines in the future. “I do not believe in using blastocysts for human reproduction. This is ethically very questionable, this would be clones of somebody who is already alive. Human cloning is totally forbidden.”

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge of the Francis Crick Institute added while the experiment was a huge breakthrough for modern science, it may come as a relief it cannot be replicated in humans yet.

He said: “It may come as a relief to others that such a method of producing many genetically identical human embryo-like structures that might be capable of implantation is not feasible - even if it would be illegal to implant them into women, as is clearly the situation in the UK.”

Cloning continues to fascinate the science world, particularly after Dolly the Sheep made headlines across the globe in 1996.

The ewe lived for six years after being the first mammal cloned by professors at the University of Edinburgh by Keith Campbell and Ian Wilmut.

The animal died five months before her seventh birthday from a progressive lung disease.


This is again raising the question about how far medical research is prepared to go in crossing the boundaries when it comes to genetic engineering and possible long term implications. For instance several years stories began emerging about the following.


A few years ago, stories began emerging from New Zealand that the manufacture of cloned transgenic cows had resulted in an absolute disaster. The root of the stories was a study authored by Claire Bleakley, president of GE Free New Zealand, who told Morning Report that the animals were suffering inordinately from chronic illness, unexplained deaths and severe deformities as a result of the foreign DNA inserted into the embryos. Of the 60 cows, 14 at the time were still alive. GE Free said the deformities included animals born with no bladder, club feet and fused necks, many of whom lived for only a few hours. The group said it got the details through Official Information Act requests to AgResearch and from the Crown institute’s own reports. The report entitled ‘GE Animals in New Zealand’ outlines the appalling genetic engineering experimentation on thousands of sheep, cattle and goats in New Zealand, that has resulted in chronically ill animals, deformities, and huge rates of miscarriage and still birth.

The Green Party is calling for Agresearch to stop its programme of genetic engineering experiments on animals at its Ruakura facility. "Successive experiments have failed at huge taxpayer and animal welfare cost,” said Green Party GE spokesperson Steffan Browning. “They raise serious questions about ethics of methods used on these animals. Cows have been implanted with embryos that contain human genetic materials, resulting in terrible deformities, still births and suffering.“ Photographs of deformities have been suppressed by AgResearch in case they jeopardize public and commercial investment in genetic modification.



Prophecy and politics are quickly converging as US President Donald Trump on Tuesday withdrew US involvement in the nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), while a conflict between Israel and Iran looms imminent in Syria. Click here to read more.


A lost city that appeared in the Bible has been found near Jerusalem, experts say. Historians believe they have uncovered a building belonging to the ancient settlement, which is linked to King David. Professor Avraham Faust, co-head of the archaeological dig, said the latest find backs the case for the historical accuracy of the Bible.
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