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Portrait of Mitalipov in laboratory.


In a major step forward in science, biologists have finally managed to create human stem cells through cloning. Some say it advances the search for medical treatments, others call for new laws to prevent cloning for ethical reasons.

The first attempt at cloning took place over fifteen years ago. In 1996, Dolly the sheep was the first animal to be cloned by scientists in Scotland.

Since then, the process has been carried out on dogs, mice and other animal species. Now, scientists in the US have used similar techniques, which created Dolly, to produce embryos in order to clone human stem cells.

"The technique isn’t new – the results are," reports Al Jazeera's Alan Fisher.
"Microscopic genetic material was taken from an adult cell. It was then inserted into an egg whose own DNA had been removed. This creates human embryonic stem cells, which are capable of becoming any of the more than 200 types of cells that make up a person. That’s important because those cells could be used to treat devastating conditions such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord...