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UK government prepares way for creation of hybrid embryos for research

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 24 May 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1074
  1. Michael Day
  1. London

    In an apparent U turn the UK government has signalled its support for controversial research involving hybrid human-animal embryos.

    Leading medical scientists were furious when in December last year a Department of Health white paper proposed a ban on such experiments (BMJ 2007;334:12 doi: 10.1136/bmj.39080.500648.DB).

    The researchers said a ban would seriously impede the search for breakthroughs in treatments for illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease and cystic fibrosis.

    Now, after intense lobbying by scientists, MPs, and patients' groups, the minister for public health, Caroline Flint, last week announced the draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill, which calls for an all party parliamentary committee to revise the proposed restrictions.

    As it stands the draft bill still outlaws the formation of embryos with hybrid human-animal genomes. However, the appointment of Phil Willis, a …

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