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英国科学家培育出人牛混合胚胎

2008-06-28
英国科学家培育出人牛混合胚胎
英国《金融时报》克莱夫•库克森(Clive Cookson)圣地亚哥报道
2008年6月23日 星期一
英国纽卡斯尔大学(Newcastle University)的科学家通过将人体DNA植入母牛卵子之中,已经培育出近300份混合胚胎。这项有争议的研究项目始于今年1月。

项目负责人里尔•阿姆斯特朗(Lyle Armstrong)在圣地亚哥召开的BIO生物技术大会上透露,科学家们发现,如果用人类皮肤细胞中的DNA替代母牛的卵核,培育用于干细胞研究的胚胎会比预想的更为容易。

后来,他向英国《金融时报》表示,通过这种方法,纽卡斯尔大学已培育出约270份胚胎,以此解决用于科研的新鲜人体卵子极其紧缺的状况。

阿姆斯特朗表示:“我们也许每月能得到8到10枚质量符合要求的人体卵细胞(卵子),但每天能从本地肉业获得200个母牛卵子。”

世界上没有其他研究机构表示过要如此大规模地培育混合胚胎。

这个项目是全球广泛寻找干细胞培育方式的努力的一部分。干细胞可替代丧失机能的人体组织,用于治疗目前难以治愈的多种疾病,包括帕金森氏综合症和糖尿病等等。

5个月前,在一些宗教和反堕胎群体的激烈反对声中,英国监管机构人类生育和胚胎学管理局(Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority)批准了纽卡斯尔大学的这项工作。在反对人士试图加入相关条款禁止混合胚胎实验的努力于上月失败后,英国国会有望在近期通过一项新的《人类生育和胚胎学法案》(Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act)。该法案将为混合胚胎研究提供坚实的法律基础。

译者/李晖

阅读本文章英文,请点击 EMBRYOS PRODUCED BY USING HUMAN DNA IN COW EGGS
EMBRYOS PRODUCED BY USING HUMAN DNA IN COW EGGS
By Clive Cookson in San Diego
Monday, June 23, 2008
Scientists at Newcastle University in the UK have already produced almost 300 hybrid embryos, by inserting human DNA into cow eggs, since their controversial research project started in January.

Lyle Armstrong, the project leader, told the BIO biotechnology conference in San Diego that the scientists were finding it easier than expected to make embryos for stem cell research, by replacing the nuclei of cow eggs with DNA from human skin cells.

Afterwards he told the Financial Times that about 270 embryos had already been produced in Newcastle through this process, which is designed to overcome the acute shortage of fresh human eggs for research.

“We might be able to get eight to 10 human oocytes [eggs] of sufficient quality per month,” Dr Armstrong said. “We can get 200 cow eggs a day from the local meat industry.”

No other research group in the world has spoken of producing hybrid embryos on this scale.

The project is part of an extensive global effort to find ways of making stem cells that can replace failing human tissues – and treat a wide range of currently uncurable diseases, from Parkinson's to diabetes.

The Newcastle work was approved five months ago by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority – the UK's regulator – in the face of intense opposition from some religious and anti-abortion groups. Parliament is expected shortly to pass a new Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, which would provide a firm legal basis for hybrid embryo research, after opponents failed last month to insert clauses that would ban the procedure.
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