Dolly creator gets human cloning license

Feb. 8, 2005 at 12:14 PM

LONDON, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- The British scientist who cloned Dolly the sheep has received a license to clone human embryos to study Lou Gehrig's disease.

The license given to Professor Ian Wilmut of the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, is only the second the British government's Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority has given for therapeutic cloning research, which has been legal in Britain since 2001, The Times of London reports.

The disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or motor neurone disease, is caused by the death of cells that control movement in the brain and spinal cord. Muscles that supply the face and throat also cause problems with speech and difficulty chewing and swallowing.

Wilmut aims to deliberately clone embryos that have the disease to study how the disease progresses in unprecedented detail. He told the BBC the cells can be used to try out new drugs to see if they stop the disease from progressing.

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