One of a group of leading French scientists who have called on the government to lift a ban on human therapeutic cloning, told The Scientist this week that he is hopeful that the law will soon be changed.

Marc Peschanski from INSERM, the French national institute for health and medical research, and nine other leading researchers submitted a "petition" last week to the French National Assembly, calling for regulations covering human embryo research to be changed to allow therapeutic cloning.

Peschanski said France was in danger of falling behind in an important area of biomedical research because of the ban. He called the current law out-dated.

"Experiments in South Korea and the United Kingdom have made therapeutic cloning a scientific tool," he said. "My own team would benefit from access to therapeutic cloning techniques to find breakthroughs in medical research for illnesses, such as diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease."


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