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Boffins could make human dolly mixture.

BRITISH scientists could be preparing to clone human embryos in the search for new therapies within a year.

But critics fear that would be a step down the road to the creation of a human Dolly, the sheep successfully cloned last year by scientists at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh.

However, the Government is still expected to give the go-ahead for the research, after consultation.

Christine Gosden, professor of medical genetics at the University of Liverpool said: "The first application will probably be within a year of it being allowed."

A working group of the Human Genetics Advisory Commission and Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised the Government to change the rules which currently ban the cloning of human embryos.

They hope the technique could eventually lead to the production of body parts that may be used to repair damaged muscle organs or nerves.

Critics, though, see the move as a step too far.

Dr Patrick Dixon, author of Futurewise, a book which warns of the dangers of cloning research, said: "This is the perfect Christmas present for those who want to press ahead with human cloning."
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 9, 1998
Words:188
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