A small San Diego laboratory claims it's done something no one else in the world has done: create the first cloned human embryos.
Dr. Samuel Wood, fertility doctor and CEO of a small San Diego research company called Stema-Gen, says he's created the first cloned human embryos. Dr. Wood and his research partner, CFO of the company, Andrew French, says that they used their own skin cells to make the cloned embryos.
Dr. Wood said, "We're able to integrate both the fertility aspects of this as well as the stem cell or cloning procedures" , adding, "One of the skin cells was mine and the other one was my partners."
Next, their skin cells were put into human donor eggs- but only after the nucleus, or all of the DNA and genetic material inside those eggs had been removed. "So one individual skin cell is then taken and injected into an egg that's had its nucleus removed and that egg remodels it," said Dr. Wood. The egg is remodeled into blastosis, or the final stage of an embryo before it begins to turn into a fetus.
Stema-Gen wants to use cloned embryos to make customized stem cells for medical treatments yet to be invented. Dr. Wood said, "Our eventual goal therapeutic cloning, if we can develop patient specific stem cell lines I think that'll go a long ways toward making stem cells a real viable option for therapeutic use."
Never, he says, would they implant cloned embryos into a womb. "That's not something we plan on doing and not something we consider- unethical to do." It's also illegal.