April 13, 2024

Loophole in law allows UK frog-human hybrid cells

Scientists at Cambridge University in the UK created animal- human hybrid cells which are not regulated by existing laws, the London Times has revealed. Last year a team led by Professor John Gurdon fused the nuclei of adult human white blood cells with eggs from Xenopus frogs in an attempt to produce stem cells. Under UK legislation, government authorisation is only needed if human and animal gametes are fused or if the resulting embryo has the potential to develop into a human being.

“People shouldn’t be regulating other people’s work when it isn’t really necessary,” Dr Gurdon told The Scientist. “I can’t imagine any conceivable ethical problem with our work, which did not produce anything that could vaguely be described as an embryo.” Dr Gurdon is regarded as a pioneer of cloning after his ground-breaking work in cloning frogs in 1962.