Cloning human embryos
7 Healthcast: Cloning human embryos
"We're as sure as we can be," said Dr. Samuel Wood.
Dr. Wood, a fertility doctor and CEO of a small research company called Stemagen, says he's sure that he's created the first cloned human embryos.
"We're able to integrate both the fertility aspects of this as well as the stem cell or cloning procedures," Dr. Wood said.
Dr. Wood and his research partner say they used their own skin cells to make the cloned embryos.
"One of the skin cells was mine and the one was my partners," Dr. Wood said.
Next, they say, their skin cells were put into human donor eggs.
But only after the nucleus, or all of the DNA and genetic material inside those eggs had been removed.
"So one individual skin cell is then taken and injected into an egg that's had it's nucleus removed and that egg remodels it," Dr. Wood said.
Remodeled into blastosis, or the final stage of an embryo before it begins to turn into a fetus.
But, that's not the goal. Instead, Stemagen wants to use cloned embryo's to make customized stem cells for medical treatments yet to be invented.
"Our eventual goal is therapeutic cloning," Dr. Wood said. "If we can develop patient specific stem cell lines, I think that'll go a long ways toward making stem cells a real viable option for therapeutic use."
The cloned embryos were destroyed after they were tested; however, Dr. Wood says they would have grown into fetuses if implanted in a surrogate womb. This research was published in the journal, ‘Stem Cells.'
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