LONDON — Clones produced by cell nuclear replacement (CNR) can be classified as embryos, so they are covered by current regulations on cloning, the UK Court of Appeal ruled last week. The three judges allowed a government challenge to a High Court decision made in November 2001 which ruled that cloning based on CNR was not covered by legislation and so could, in fact, be carried out without breaking the law as it stood.

The argument revolves around the technical definition of what constitutes an embryo. The original High Court ruling in November 2001 — now challenged by the government — upheld a claim by a political party "campaigning for absolute respect for innocent human life", Prolife Alliance. The organization argued that organisms created by CNR — the technique that resulted in the early human clones created recently in the US, and previously in Dolly the sheep — were...

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