Cloning scientist pulling away from embryonic researchcomment (0)
December 22, 2011
LA JOLLA, Calif. — The scientist who led the team that cloned Dolly the sheep has urged fellow researchers to forego embryonic stem cell research — which he says is fraught with practical problems — and pursue more promising types of research.
That’s because he believes other research likely will overtake embryonic stem cell research. Ian Wilmut spoke to a crowd of stem cell researchers Nov. 29 in La Jolla, Calif., telling them that because embryonic stem cells tend to lead to tumors, scientists should spend their time on non-embryonic forms of research, particularly on a new method called direct reprogramming. In direct reprogramming, scientists avoid stem cells altogether and, for instance, reprogram a skin cell directly into a nerve cell. Researchers have had success doing just that with lab mice. It has the support of ethicists who have opposed embryonic research.