San Francisco—Nuclear cloning holds great
promise for curing or alleviating a number of diseases and conditions. Apart
from various ethical considerations, the technique has a number of technical
hurdles to clear before it has a chance of making its way into the clinic.
Nuclear cloning (also called nuclear transfer) involves replacing the
DNA of a donated egg with the DNA from a patient’s cell and coaxing
the egg to divide and produce embryonic stem cells. These are then manipulated
and introduced back into the patient. Although a group of researchers in South
Korea recently succeeded in using patient DNA in nuclear cloning to derive
11 new human embryonic stem cell lines (Hwang et al. Science. 2005;308:1777-1783), many efforts remain unsuccessful, and scientists
are keen to find strategies for making nuclear cloning more efficient.
Scientists Confront Cloning Challenges. JAMA. 2005;294(7):783-784. doi:10.1001/jama.294.7.783