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 Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht The Nagoya Protocol Creates Disadvantages for Many Countries when Applied to Microorganisms
05.12.2016 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica

05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

Shape matters when light meets atom

05.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”

05.12.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>