Britain's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority said on Wednesday (June 16) that it was considering the country's first application to undertake human cell nuclear replacement for medical research. But the decision may not be made public for some time.

A team from the Centre for Life in Newcastle applied for the license to perform somatic cell nuclear transfer with the aim of deriving stem cells for transplanting into patients with conditions such as diabetes.

Alison Murdoch, who leads the Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life, made the application. She said the research would use eggs donated by patients undergoing treatment for fertility at the center.

"We are very grateful to all those patients who help with this research. Although the studies will not directly help them, they are playing a vital role in helping other patients," Murdoch said.

"We are looking at 5 to 10 years before we can even begin...

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