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UK OKs human-animal embryo research


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British authorities on Thursday approved scientists' use of animal eggs to create human stem cells, a ruling that will boost the supply of stem cells for research.


The decision means that researchers will be able to refine their techniques for producing human stem cells by practicing first on animal eggs, of which there is a steady supply. Similar work involving human-animal stem cells is also under way in China and the United States.


"This is good news for research, but most importantly, it is good news for patients," said Sophie Petit-Zeman of the Association of Medical Research Charities.


Scientists have been exploring the use of stem cells to cure many degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, since the cells have the ability to develop into any cell in the human body.


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