Korean cloning feat stirs religious concern

First successfully cloned human embryo
News that South Korean scientists have successfully cloned the first human embryo in order to extract stem cells for medical research has drawn sharp criticism from religious and ethical groups in the U.S. and abroad.

Stem cells are the universal cells, harvested from embryos or adult tissues, that scientists hope can someday be developed into replacement organs for rejection-free transplants, or used to cure spinal cord injuries and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s.

Religious groups, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Focus on the Family, sharply criticized the cloning breakthrough. Cloning opponents say creating embryos marked for destruction once stem cells have been removed is ethically troubling, and they fear cloning will lead to “designer babies” and embryo screening.


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