Hybrid embryos containing both human and animal material have been created for the first time in the UK, the linkurl:BBC;http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7323298.stm reported yesterday (April 1). Scientists at Newcastle University led by Lyle Armstrong inserted nuclei from human skin cells into hollowed-out cow eggs to create cytoplasmic linkurl:hybrids,;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53564/ or "cybrids." Some of the human-animal embryos lived for three days, and the largest grew up to 32 cells. Although this is a European first, a similar achievement was made by a Chinese team at linkurl:Shanghai;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15783/ Second Medical University using rabbit eggs in 2003. The research, which has not yet been published, was discussed by Armstrong at a conference in Israel last week. The announcement comes about a month before the British parliament is set to debate the controversial linkurl:Human Embryology and Fertilisation Bill,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54487/ which will formalize the legal status of research on "admixed human embryos" that contain animal material.

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