World scientists seek U.N. help in cloning

May 31, 2004 at 4:36 PM

NEW YORK, May 31 (UPI) -- Scientists from four continents prepared Monday for a U.N. gathering in New York this week that aims to ban the cloning of babies.

The Daily Telegraph reported that scientists hope to persuade U.N. officials Wednesday to break a diplomatic deadlock over achieving a worldwide ban on baby cloning -- without curbing research on the cloning of early human embryos.

Many countries including the United States back the "Costa Rican proposal," which would outlaw both human reproductive and therapeutic cloning of early human embryos, ending research on a wide range of treatments.

Among those who will speak in New York are Professor Ian Wilmut, of the Roslin Institute, near Edinburgh, the first to clone using an adult cell.

The U.S. position is "an enormous handicap for the field," said Wilmut. U.S. biomedical research is already "severely limited" in embryonic stem cell research, he said.

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