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Boston (DbTechNo) - Scientists from China have announced that they have figured out how to breed mice from the use of normal skin cells. The team was able to do this without using embryonic stem cells, which are the topic of many ethical debates.
Many people think that using embryonic stem cells for research is bad, because it effectively means killing the embryo.
The Chinese scientists used skin cells taken from animals, and managed to coax them into becoming embryonic stem cells. “We are confident that tremendous good can come from demonstrating the versatility of reprogrammed cells in mice, and this research will be used to … understand the root causes of disease and lead to viable treatments and cures of human afflictions,” said Fanyi Zeng of the Shanghai Institute of Medical Genetics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
The researchers published their study and their findings in the journal Nature. “The implications of this are both enormously important and troublesome,” said Robert Lanza, a stem cell researcher at Advanced Cell Technology in Worcester, Mass. “It revives many of the issues raised by reproductive cloning.”