LONDON: Scientists have for the first time turned adult human skin cells into stem cells, which can grow into any type of tissue in the body, using cloning techniques.
Using the cloning technique which produced Dolly the sheep in 1996, researchers were able to turn skin cells from a 35-year-old man and a 75-year-old man into stem cells, raising the prospect that body parts could be regenerated in old age.
Last year, a team of researchers had created stem cells from the skin cells of babies but it was unclear whether it would work in adults because cells mutate with age.
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The South Korean bioethics committee has lifted a ban on human stem cell research. The decision will now allow for work on human embryonic stem cells to resume after being interrupted three years ago following the scandal involving Hwang Woo-suk, the false “pioneer of human cloning”. The veterinarian, a national hero at the time, fell from grace after the international scientific community and the University of Seoul uncovered that results from his research on embryonic stem cells were falsified in the laboratory to give the impression that his group was successful in cloning healthy cells