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Expressing strong concern at human cloning reports, AAAS cautions against overreaction

g, citing "serious health risks." But the Board supported research using nuclear transplantation methods under appropriate government oversight. Nuclear transplantation methods involve removing genetic material from a human egg and replacing it with genetic material from an adult cell. Electricity fuses the two, causing the ensuing cell to divide and increase in number. These techniques have often been termed "research" or "therapeutic" cloning and are not intended to reproduce an organism. Scientists hope that such cells, containing the adult cell donor's DNA, can then be used to treat debilitating conditions in that donor, while preventing the immune system from rejecting imported tissue.

Claims by the Bahamas-based Clonaid company, affiliated with the Ralian Movement, also threaten to trigger a political backlash against promising scientific efforts to develop therapies based on nuclear transplantation methods, noted Albert H. Teich, head of the AAAS Directorate for Science and Policy Programs. "A knee-jerk reaction to Clonaid's claims could set back much important medical research for years," he added.


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2-Jan-2003


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