Monday, May 08, 2006

WSJ Reports on Embryo Cloning in California

The Wall Street Journal reported today that UC San Francisco and Advanced Cell Technology of Alameda, Ca., are resuming a "controversial medical endeavor"-- the effort to clone human embryos.

While the news may not seem surprising to those who have followed California's stem cell efforts, the article may trigger unforeseen and possibly negative public reactions, given the Journal's reach.

Reporters Antonio Regalado and David P. Hamilton wrote:
"Officials at the University of California, San Francisco said Friday that they would immediately resume a cloning program, with the goal of creating new stem-cell lines that can be used to model genetic diseases.

"Separately, executives with Advanced Cell Technology Inc., of Alameda, Calif., said they plan to announce their cloning plans soon. Advanced Cell's vice president of research, Robert Lanza, said the company is recruiting female egg donors and is interested in creating tailored transplant treatments."
The article also said:
"Cloning programs are moving forward thanks to state laws put in place to protect and regulate the research. In California, voters also approved a ballot measure designed to provide as much as $3 billion in stem-cell funding over 10 years.

"UCSF began its cloning effort in 1999, but the program ran into trouble in 2001 after UCSF lost its top stem-cell researcher, Roger Pedersen, who took a job in the United Kingdom, citing a hostile atmosphere in the U.S. Advanced Cell's cloning effort was last active in 2003, Dr. Lanza said, and stopped because of political pressures and because the company lost its source of human eggs."

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