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Embryology Authority, granted a licence to Prof Ian Wilmut, the creator of Dolly the sheep, to carry out human parthenogenesis to hopefully boost the supply of human eggs for fertility treatments and help refine plans to use cloning to create stem cells from a patient's own tissue for research and treatments .

Suzi Leather, the HFEA chairman, said: “After careful consideration of all the scientific, ethical and medical aspects of the project, the HFEA Licence Committee agreed to grant an initial one-year research licence to the Roslin Institute which is sponsoring Prof Wilmot's research.”