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AMERICA‚ÄôS richest university threw its reputation and financial resources behind efforts to clone human embryos for medical science yesterday.
Scientists at Harvard University were awarded ethical approval and private funds to pursue therapeutic cloning experiments, which are strongly opposed by the Bush Administration and the Religious Right. Researchers hope that they could lead to cures for conditions such as diabetes and motor neuron disease.
The Harvard team will seek to clone embryos using cells from patients with these disorders, and then to create ‚Äúdisease-specific‚ÄĚ colonies of embryonic stem cells that can be used to develop new treatments.
The work is hugely contentious in the US, where experiments on embryonic stem cells created since 2001 cannot receive federal funding and attempts to outlaw the use of cloning for medical research have narrowly failed to pass in Congress....