SAN FRANCISCO, December 11, 2002 ( – Stanford University announced Tuesday it intends to mass produce stem cells through the use of Somatic Cell nuclear Transfer (SCNT), more commonly known as 'therapeutic cloning.' However, Dr. Irving Weissman, the researcher who will head up Stanford's new institute dedicated to the controversial research (launched with an anonymous $12 million grant) is attempting to downplay the news by refusing to call SCNT 'cloning'.

Dr. Dianne Irving, a world-renowned expert in the field, warned LifeSite months ago that given the negative public reaction to human cloning, pro-cloning scientists would attempt to change the terminology of cloning to render it more palatable. “Creating human stem cell lines is not equivalent to cloning,” said a release by the university, and Weissman told the Associated Press that his planned research is “not even close” to cloning.

However, accepted medical definitions of SCNT and even Weissman's pro-cloning colleagues are not backing him up on the attempted public deception. AP quotes The American Association of Medical Colleges, of which Stanford is a member, on the definition: “Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) or therapeutic cloning involves removing the nucleus of an unfertilized egg cell, replacing it with the material from the nucleus of a 'somatic cell' (a skin, heart, or nerve cell, for example), and stimulating this cell to begin dividing.”

Ronald Green, chairman of Advanced Cell's ethics advisory committee and a religion professor at Dartmouth University, could not support his colleague's redefinition. “We've been struggling with names for this technology – I've favored 'therapeutic cloning,'” Green said.


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