For the first time, scientists have successfully performed somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) using fertilized mouse eggs, producing stem cell lines and cloned animals, according to a study published this week in Nature. The findings add preliminary support to the possibility researchers may be able to derive viable embryonic stem cells from non-viable human embryos left over from in vitro fertilization, the authors note.Study author Kevin Eggan from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute in Cambridge, Mass., and his colleagues have obtained all necessary approvals from Harvard to begin SCNT experiments with donated human frozen zygotes. Eggan said he has already received private donations to conduct the work. Eggan also received approval last year to use donated unfertilized eggs for SCNT experiments, but his group has not received one egg donation. Massachussetts legislation prevents compensation to women for the time and effort involved in donating ova for research. "Based on this...

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