Wednesday, 02 Apr, 2008 Science

First Human-Animal Embryo Created


British scientists managed to create the first hybrid embryo to find new treatments for such serious disorders as Parkinson's disease, diabetes or stroke.

During the experiment at Newcastle University human genetic material was blended with cow egg cells without its genetic material. The hybrid embryo has 99,9 percent of human genetic material and is only 0,1 percent cow.

Scientists claim that human-animal embryo has already survived for three days in the test tube and they plan to extend its lifespan till six days to extract their stem cells and grow a mature tissue.

Though, the study was licensed in January and it has not been verified yet, it evoked a lot of debates among political and religious groups. The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority issued a licence to the Newcastle University with the hope to get an approval of the Government to made some changes in legislation regarding that kind of researchers.

John Burn. Lyle Armstrong, a professor and the leading researcher reported about the preliminary results of the study at a conference in Israel.

The research was criticized by the Catholic Church which called it "monstrous", violating the core of human identity.

The research may help in developing stem-cells treatment without the use of human eggs or normal human embryos, providing the necessary material and making important steps in this scientific area.

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