The Singapore parliament on Thursday, September 2, passed a new law drawn up by the health ministry, which prohibits reproductive cloning. Crucially for the country's life sciences community, the law does not forbid cell nuclear transfer for the purposes of developing stem cells.

The health ministry introduced the draft law in May this year, saying that it was taking a step-by-step approach to regulating biomedical research. The first step is the "Human cloning and other prohibited practices bill," which imposes a fine of up to SGD $100,000 (USD $58,700) or 10 years in prison, or both.

"This is because human reproductive cloning is the most pressing issue at this time and attracts the greatest ethical concerns," the ministry said in a statement.

The bill prohibits the placing of any cloned human embryos in bodies of humans or animals. There are also prohibitions on the import or export of any cloned...

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