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SPUC concerned at mixing of human and pig cells

9 October 2000

SPUC concerned at mixing of human and pig cells Westminster, 9 October 2000--The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has reacted with concern to revelations that scientists have used the nuclear cell replacement technique used in cloning to mix human and pig cells. Greenpeace has revealed that, as part of a joint venture between Stem Cell Sciences (Australia) and Biotransplant (United States), scientists have removed the nucleus of a pig's egg and replaced it with human DNA. The resulting embryo was allowed to grow for 10 days. The two companies have lodged an application with the European Patent Office for this technique. The patent is not only for the use of pig eggs, but cow, sheep and human eggs as well. Paul Tully, general secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, commented: "It appears that these companies are trying to overcome one of the major obstacles to wide-scale human cloning--the problem of obtaining supplies of human egg cells. This raises the question of whether the biotech industries are working for or against the interests of humanity."

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