Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Leading scientists to discuss research applications for therapeutic cloning

21.10.2004


University of Pittsburgh’s Gerald Schatten, Ph.D., joins South Korean researchers for symposium at 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine



As members of the United Nations General Assembly are soon to vote on the future of cloning research, possibly within days, leading scientists will be conducting a symposium discussion on the status of current work in cloning and its potential for the emerging field of regenerative medicine.

Gerald Schatten, Ph.D., professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences and cell biology and physiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, will join South Korean researchers Woo Suk Hwang, D.V.M., Ph.D., and Shin Yong Moon, M.D., in a panel discussion of scientific and ethical issues surrounding cloning research on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at the 60th annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Scientific sessions will take place Oct. 16-20 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.


In February, Drs. Hwang and Moon from Seoul National University, reported the successful harvesting of human embryonic stem cells from a cloned embryo. The cloning symposium, called "Assisted Regenerative Medicine: The Future of ART?" and chaired by Linda Giudice, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University, will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 20. "Human reproductive cloning is unsafe, unethical and ought to be illegal everywhere in the world," said Dr. Schatten, who also is director of the Pittsburgh Development Center at the Magee-Womens Research Institute. "But a ban on all forms of human cloning sends the wrong signal to the scientific community; it stigmatizes the research and will slow the pace of discoveries for decades to come."

Dr. Schatten, who testified before U.N. delegates on the issue in June, is close to the debate because he has been trying to clone primates, which belong to the same overall species classification as humans. The implications of any success for the prospects of human cloning are clear, and Dr. Schatten is exploring ways to make sure that if he succeeds, others won’t be able to use his work to advance human cloning for reproductive purposes.

In the U.N., the United States is pressing for a ban on all forms of human cloning, while Belgium heads a faction seeking a ban on reproductive cloning but with the option for countries to approve therapeutic cloning. In 2001, Britain became the first country to legalize research cloning. Researchers hope stem cells derived from therapeutic cloning research will revolutionize medicine by providing better treatments for disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, spinal cord injuries and genetic diseases.

While the hopes are real, scientific findings remain ambiguous concerning actual benefits for patients using stem cells for therapeutic purposes. "Will therapeutic cloning create immune matching? It’s unclear. At this point, we don’t even know if human embryonic stem cells are safe, let alone effective," said Dr. Schatten. "What’s important is that research be allowed to continue so we can find out."

Currently, conflicting policies internationally allow different stages of research in human and animal cloning in different countries. The United Kingdom restricts animal work but allows research on human embryos. In the United States, animal work is allowed but work on human embryonic stem cells is restricted to cell lines in existence prior to Aug. 9, 2001. Related legislation varies from state to state, with Pennsylvania being among the most restrictive. South Korea allows therapeutic cloning research but human reproductive cloning is illegal there.

"Perhaps, in a similar fashion to debates surrounding organ donation, it will be challenging to achieve political consensus until the therapeutic benefits of cloning research are clearly demonstrated," said Dr. Schatten, calling for responsible legislation in the United States and warning that a ban on all cloning research could simply move the science offshore or to privately funded efforts not subject to U.S. regulation. Responsible clinical trials also need to be held soon, perhaps by 2008, Dr. Schatten adds.

Michele Baum | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://upmc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Immune Defense Without Collateral Damage
23.01.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika
23.01.2017 | D'Or Institute for Research and Education

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>