Britain's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has granted the first licence to create human embryonic stem cells using cell nuclear transfer – a technique also known as therapeutic cloning.
The licence will be held by Newcastle Centre for Life. Stem cells created under this licence will be used for research purposes only.
This licence allows scientists to create human embryos by inserting the nuclei from human skin or stem cells into human eggs. In the UK, research on human embryos is only permitted for certain purposes. The purpose of this research is to increase knowledge about the development of embryos and enable this knowledge to be applied in developing treatments for serious disease. This research is preliminary, it is not aimed at specific illnesses, but is the foundation for further development in the treatment of serious disease.