Breakthroughs

Embryo-Free Stem Cells

Potentially closing the book on this decade’s definitive medical ethical quandary, British and Canadian scientists have discovered a way to produce stem cells without destroying an embryo. The breakthrough allows scientists to effectively “wind back the clock” on skin cells taken from adults until those cells are back in embryonic form, allowing them to make as many as they need – perhaps enough to build “spare human parts” for people with damaged organs. The research was completed at an Edinburgh University lab run by the researcher who cloned Dolly the Sheep, Sir Ian Wilmut. “There is hope that the promise of regenerative medicine could soon be met,” he said.