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Cloning Yields Human-Rabbit Hybrid Embryo

Dude... check this out:

Cloning Yields Human-Rabbit Hybrid Embryo

The team said it retrieved foreskin tissue from two 5-year-old boys and two men, and facial tissue from a 60-year-old woman, as a source of skin cells. They fused those cells with New Zealand rabbit eggs from which the vast majority of rabbit DNA had been removed. More than 400 of those new, fused entities grew into early embryos, and more than 100 survived to the blastocyst stage -- the point at which coveted stem cells begin to form.

The approach could help scientists wishing to mass-produce human embryos as sources of human embryonic stem cells. Stem cells can morph into all kinds of tissues and may be able to reverse the effects of various degenerative diseases. But to make cloned embryos, scientists need both normal body cells -- such as skin cells -- and egg cells, which have the unique capacity to "reprogram" the genes in body cells and make them behave as though they were embryo cells.

That's some pretty crazy/cool stuff! Obviously, this is going to spark a bunch more debate what the ethics and morality of cloning.

"Short of putting one of these embryos into a woman's body for development to term, I don't think this work harms anyone alive," Charo said.

She said the experiments should force opponents of cloning research to identify more clearly than they have until now exactly where they would draw the line against human embryo cloning -- in effect: How human does an embryo have to be to have the moral standing these advocates confer on embryos?

Richard Doerflinger, of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said he felt certain that the human-rabbit embryos were human enough to deserve protections.

"I think because all the nuclear DNA is human," Doerflinger said, "we'd consider this an organism of the human species."

So, what do you guys think?

Human or rabbit? :) Right or wrong?

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