DUBLIN, September 9, 2005 ( – The Roslin Institute, which also created Dolly the sheep, reported creating the first embryonic Humans without the use of sperm – from the genetic material of the mother alone.

The group said they stimulated an egg to divide without the use of human sperm, to a stage of development where they hope they can “mine” cells for experimental research purposes. “At the moment we have not managed to get stem cells from these embryos but that continues to be our ambition,” Dr Paul De Sousa said at the British Association’s Festival of Science in Dublin, as reported by the BBC.

UK law allows the creation of cloned embryos for so-called “therapeutic” use – the tiny humans can be used in scientific research, but not implanted into a woman’s uterus and allowed to mature into a viable baby.

Parthenotes – the name given the cloned embryos after the Greek word Parthenogenesis, which means “virgin birth”– when created in animals like monkeys often result in abnormal development.

The Roslin scientists said their eggs are derived from donor women who are undergoing sterilization.

“It is another example of Frankenstein science which illustrates how out of touch with public opinion these recent scientific developments are,” said Life spokesman Matthew O’Gorman. “[The Roslin team] was granted a licence by an unelected, unaccountable quango.”

The decision may appear to be self-contradictory, but advocates of human cloning for experimental research commonly maintain that cloning ‘human beings’ and cloning human embryos are qualitatively different activities. The fact remains however that reproductive cloning allows cloned human embryos to live until birth and beyond whereas therapeutic cloning requires that cloned human embryos be killed for experimentation prior to birth.

While also condemning reproductive cloning, Archbishop Renato Martino, the former Vatican representative to the United Nations, said in 2002 that therapeutic cloning is “an even more serious offence against human dignity and the right to life, since it involves human beings (embryos) who are created in order to be destroyed.” He said therapeutic cloning “must be” prohibited, calling it an “exploitation of human beings, sought by certain scientific and industrial circles, and pushed forward by underlying economic interests.”

See related coverage:
  Creator of Dolly Granted License to Clone Humans For Experimentation
  Organization Says British Approved Human Cloning Violates Nuremberg Code
  UN Approves Declaration Banning all Human Cloning
  Feminist Revolutionary Warns of Exploitation of Women with Cloning Research
  Cloning Doctor to ask Women to Donate Ova for Experiments
  Vatican Tells United Nations ‘therapeutic’ Cloning Is Worse Than Reproductive Cloning

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