UK embryo bill past 1st hurdle

British parliamentarians voted to allow the controversial human embryo bill to continue to the next stage of debate yesterday (May 12), according to Agence France Presse. Just nine members of the governing Labour party voted against the bill, which passed by 340 votes to 78.

By | May 13, 2008

British parliamentarians voted to allow the controversial human embryo bill to continue to the next stage of debate yesterday (May 12), according to Agence France Presse. Just nine members of the governing Labour party voted against the bill, which passed by 340 votes to 78. On Sunday (May 11), it also emerged that a team at Cornell University's Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility led by Nikica Zaninovic added a green fluorescent protein to a human embryo to create what is believed to be the first genetically-engineered human embryo, according to The Times. The research was announced at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine's annual meeting last year in Washington, DC, but was only publicized after the UK reproductive regulatory authority highlighted the work in a review of the technology. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill would permit similar techniques in Britain, and also allow the creation of hybrid human-animal embryos and so-called "savior sibling" embryos for a brother or sister to help a diseased sibling. The bill would also replace the current language stipulating the "need for a father" in IVF treatment with requirements for "supportive parenting." The bill will now undergo detailed scrutiny, and British lawmakers will vote on individual components of the bill next week.

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