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Experiments to create Britain’s first embryos that merge human and animal material will begin within months after a Govt watchdog today approved two research teams to carry out the controversial work.
Scientists at King’s College London and the Univ. of Newcastle-upon-Tyne will now inject human DNA into empty eggs from cows, to create embryos known as cytoplasmic hybrids that are 99.9% human in genetic terms.
They will not be used in therapy, and it is illegal to implant them into the womb.
“Cow eggs seem to be every bit as good at doing this job as human eggs so it makes sense to use them since they are much more readily available, but it is important to stress that we will only use them as a scientific tool and we need not worry about cells derived from them ever being used to treat human diseases.”