Scientists urge human cloning for stem cell research

Kyoto: An international group of scientists has urged governments to allow human cloning for stem cell research to cure diseases but not for reproduction.

The recommendations were made by the Human Genome OrganizationĀ’s ethics panel at the group’s annual meeting in the Japanese city of Kyoto.

The panel said that a blanket ban could set back efforts to develop new medical treatments for disorders such as diabetes and ParkinsonĀ’s disease. The panel also suggested that stem cells could be effective in bone marrow transplants.

This three-page statement follows a UN resolution urging member nations to outlaw all forms of human cloning Ā“inasmuch as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human lifeĀ”.

The statement also criticised some nations for only allowing use of embryos produced before an arbitrary timeline and outlawing government funded research but allowing private bodies free reign. Both criticisms apply to current US policy.

Separately, Norio Nakatsuji, a geneticist from Kyoto University, said that researchers from Japan, South Korea, Singapore, China, Taiwan and Australia agreed this week to boost collaboration on stem-cell research and discussed the possibility of freely providing cells to each other.