The legal committee of the United Nations' General Assembly is likely to take some kind of action on Friday (November 19) on the issue of whether to ban both reproductive and therapeutic cloning or to ban reproductive cloning and allow individual states to decide whether they want to permit therapeutic cloning research, despite the fact that recent negotiations have not resolved the deep divide in the committee.

The final meeting of the year is scheduled for Friday. If a compromise position is not reached before that, member states will vote on whether to ban cloning entirely, or decide if they want to postpone any action. Whether the committee will vote to defer or decide is impossible to predict, Anne Power of the UK mission to the UN told The Scientist. "Basically, it's quite close," she said. "It's a wait and see."

The UN has been trying to reach agreement...

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