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UK Votes in Favour of Stem Cell Research

After a landmark vote in the British House of Lords, British scientists are now clear to use human embryos to find cures for disease.


Dolly, right, the first cloned sheep

Scientists believe that many serious, degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, heart disease, and even spinal cord injuries, could be cured if new ways to regenerate or replace damaged tissue were developed.

Many biologists believe that patients with degenerative diseases could be cured with the help of stem cells such as those found in a growing embryo, cells which have the ability to generate virtually all the tissues in the body.

Contentious Issue

However, this process requires "therapeutic cloning", the production of such cells from human embryos - a step which is hard to distinguish from reproductive cloning which is still considered an ethical taboo.

The debate is particularly lively in a country like Germany, where scientific and medical abuse occurred during the Nazi era, a tragic experience which has made the country highly sensitive genetic human experiments.

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