Scientists at Scotland's Roslin Institute are planning to apply for a license to undertake therapeutic cloning of human embryos. If permission is granted, they could be the first to do so in Britain.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported on Wednesday (April 21) that the Edinburgh-based institute, famous for creating Dolly the sheep, was applying to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) for a license.

A spokeswoman for Ian Wilmut, joint head of the Department of Gene Expression and Development at the institute, told The Scientist that he did plan to file an application—“but not for a few months.”

Wilmut told the BBC that he intended to transfer nuclei from cells of people with motor neuron disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, into a denucleated human egg. He would allow it to develop into a ball of a few hundred cells, “long before any development of a nervous system,” the...

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