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News, 14 January 2000

14 January 2000

14 January 2000 The first primate to be produced by cloning has been born, according to the journal Science. A rhesus monkey has been created by the division of embryos at the Regional Primate Research Center, Beaverton, Oregon. Identical monkeys will be of use in research on AIDS, cancer, heart-disease and diabetes. The development may also make it easier to grow spare human organs. [Daily Mail, The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Express, 14 January, 2000] It may be possible to "reconstruct our common ancestor" in order to research the genetic mutations which took place during evolution. [Dr Sydney Brenner, senior fellow, King's College, London, and president of the Molecular Sciences Institute, Berkeley, California, The Independent, 14 January, 2000] "Human cloning is almost upon us, if not already taking place." [Dr Patrick Dixon, genetics expert, Daily Mail, London, 14 January, 2000] The BBC website includes details of the monkey-cloning story at http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_602000/602027.stm A British health-minister has described the withdrawal of food and fluid from patients as "in all cases a matter of clinical judgement". Mrs Gisela Stuart, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the department of health, said: "Food and fluids should always be offered to patients who are capable of swallowing them." The withdrawal of sustenance from those who could not swallow "is undertaken in accordance with professional advice provided by a responsible and recognised body of medical opinion and the general law." Mrs Stuart was replying to a written question from Mr Laurence Robertson, Conservative MP for Tewkesbury. [Official Report, House of Commons, column 422W, 20 December 1999] The Scottish Parliament is being asked to consider a motion on teenage pregnancy that "the Parliament notes the Health Education Board of Scotland survey indicating an increase in under age sex among teenage girls; notes the continuing high levels of teenage pregnancy within Scotland, particularly within Ayrshire and Arran; notes the impact that teenage pregnancy can have on a young person's life and prospects, and calls for measures to improve sex education and sexual health among Scotland's teenage population to be implemented." The proposer is Ms Irene Oldfather and she is supported by Mr Kenneth Gibson, Margaret Jamieson, Mr Jamie McGrigor, Dr Richard Simpson, Malcolm Chisholm, Mr Keith Raffan, Alex Fergusson, Brian Adam, Michael Russell, Mr David Davidson, Elaine Thomson, Cathie Craigie, Kate MacLean, Shona Robison, Alex Neil, Trish Godman, Robert Brown, Donald Gorrie [S1M-335, Scottish Parliament business bulletin 118 / 2000, 6 January 2000] The transcript of a debate in Westminster Hall on the human genome project can be found at http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm199900/cmhansrd/cm000111/halltext/00111h04.htm#00111h04_head0 This bulletin is privately circulated by The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, 5/6 St Matthew Street, London, United Kingdom, SW1P 2JT, +44 20 7222 3763. The reliability of the news herein is dependent on the cited sources. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the society. Please forward this bulletin to other interested parties. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send an appropriate email to information@spuc.freeserve.co.uk

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