Members of the British government will be able to abstain from voting on the controversial linkurl:Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill,; senior Labour MP, Geoff Hoon, announced today. The bill aims to update the regulation of embryo research and assisted reproduction in light of new attitudes and technological developments. The legislation will allow research using human-animal hybrid embryos, created by inserting animal cells or DNA into early human embryos — a measure that many MPs oppose. These hybrids differ from linkurl:chimeras; — mosaics of cells from different species — which are already used in research at two British universities. More than 100 scientists, lawyers, philosophers, and theologians wrote a letter to linkurl:The Times; today, urging the government to allow a free vote on the Bill. (The British parliamentary system usually requires that MPs vote along party lines. But under a free vote, MPs can vote however they wish.) Prime Minister Gordon...
linkurl:The Daily Telegraph.;

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