Scientists work on interspecies stem cells

February 23, 2007

South Korean scientists say they are moving closer to creating interspecies stem cells from monkey cells and cow eggs.

"If we are successful, we will be able to apply the technologies to humans -- making stem cells with animal ova -- if society allows such an idea," Koo Deog-bon told The Korea Times.

Koo said that using interspecies stem cells would curtail some of the ethical debate surrounding the use of human embryos.

The Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology team said they had established a monkey blastocyst in January.

"It failed to thrive. But we became sure of the potential of interspecies research -- creating a blastocyst and extracting stem cell batches from it," Koo said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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