Madison
54° F
Overcast
Overcast
Advertisement

Research breakthrough could reignite cloning debate

By Jessica Arp, jarp@wisctv.com
Published On: May 16 2013 06:58:20 PM CDT
Updated On: May 16 2013 08:53:47 PM CDT

Channel3000.com

MADISON, Wis. -

A breakthrough in the state of Oregon may reignite an old debate in the Wisconsin state Capitol.

Scientists at Oregon Health and Science University announced this week that they'd made a discovery 50 years in the making by using a cloning technique to create embryonic stem cells.

Researchers announced they successfully put DNA from a baby's skin cells into a human egg, eventually creating an embryo with stem cells identical to the child.

"The implications are now that things such as therapeutic cloning can be done, that is, there will be stem cells matched identically to a patient and can be used to develop cells that may be useful for therapy," said Tim Kamp, the co-director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center.

But the concept of cloning concerns some state lawmakers.

"The idea of creating human life for the sole purpose of destroying it raises some questions that need to be answered," said Rep. Steve Kestell, R-Elkhart Lake.

Kestell was the Assembly sponsor of a ban on reproductive and therapeutic cloning that passed the legislature in 2005, only to be vetoed by Gov. Jim Doyle.

"At that time, there was quite a bit of activity around human cloning nationally," Kestell said. "The researchers in Wisconsin did not in any way condemn the practice, so there was obviously concern about the ethics behind human cloning."

Kestell said he's exploring whether or not to push for the bill again, but UW researchers said they hope not.

"I think an outright ban of all types of research like this would be detrimental to researchers here and elsewhere, as well," Kamp said. "It is a conversation that needs to be had. An informative conversation about the science and ethical considerations."

Kestell won't say for sure that he'll reintroduce the bill, instead saying he wants to learn more about this procedure.

Kamp said that UW researchers will likely need to know more about the technique before moving to that method, rather than using traditional embryonic or the newer induced pluripotent stem cells for their research.

Advertisement
  • Craig Spencer

    America's Ebola patients

    An American doctor who was working with Ebola patients in Guinea was been diagnosed with the disease after returning to New York. Learn more about him and America's other Ebola victims.

  • Hot peppers

    Karimala/iStock

    Notable food recalls

    A North Carolina producer of peppers and hot sauces is voluntarily recalling 6,215 pounds of fresh serrano chili peppers because some tested positive for salmonella. Here are other notable food recalls that made headlines.

  • Twitter

    Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

    Famous first tweets

    The Queen is on Twitter! Check out what she had to say and other famous first tweets.

  • jack-o-lantern Halloween pumpkin

    Juliet James/SXC

    Halloween

    Games, recipes, trick-or-treating, scary movies and everything else you need to make your Halloween extra spooky.

  • Politician, politics, debate, election

    iStock / bns124

    Election Coverage

    Get up-to-date on political stories, Reality Check the latest political ads, learn about the candidates and find election results in our special section.

  • Ebola virus pink

    CDC

    Ebola special coverage

    Get the latest news on the Ebola outbreak and resources to help you learn more about the deadly virus.

Advertisement