The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority reviews the first request by British scientists to clone human embryos today.
The Newcastle University team plans to use stem cells from cloned embryos to treat diabetes. The pending decision could potentially open up new possibilities for the treatment of incurable diseases, as well as dividing the British scientific community as many believe therapeutic cloning to be unethical.
The review comes after a site inspection by The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority of the International Centre for Life in Newcastle, where the research is scheduled to take place.
Cloning is the process of creating an identical copy of an original. A clone in the biological sense, therefore, is a multi-cellular organism that is genetically identical to another living organism. Sometimes this can refer to "natural" clones made either when an organism reproduces asexually or when two genetically identical individuals are produced by accident (as with identical twins), but in common parlance the clone is an identical copy by some conscious design.
The term clone is derived from klôn, the Greek word for "twig". In horticulture, the spelling clon was used until the twentieth century; the final e came into use to indicate the vowel is a "long o" instead of a "short o". Since the term entered the popular lexicon in a more general context, the spelling clone has been used exclusively.
Portions of this article are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cloning".