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Germ-line gene therapy will involve performing modifications on embryos in an attempt to forestall incurable diseases which arise from abnormal mitochondria.
Ethical questions raised include whether germ-line modification via mitochondrial replacement therapy is incompatible with human dignity and whether human cloning technology ought to be used to subvert disease.
When pluripotent germ-line cells commit to become one of the life-functioning cell types of the body, we say they have differentiated into somatic cells.
This publication is believed to be the first in which germ-line transmission from rat ES cells has been definitively demonstrated.
Stem Cell Sciences plc (Cambridge, England), a company focused on the commercialisation of stem cells and stem cell technologies, is pleased to announce that two independent laboratories in the UK and USA have achieved germ-line transmission from embryonic stem (ES) cells in rats using technologies exclusively licensed to the company by Edinburgh University.
James Keenan, professor of ethics at Boston College, applies his well-honed theory of virtue ethics to issues such as enhancement and germ-line gene therapy.
In a retrospective study of patients who had germ-line mutations associated with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome), significantly fewer endometrial cancers occurred in women who had a prophylactic hysterectomy (0 of 61) than in those who did not (69 of 210).
In a retrospective study of a cohort of patients who had germ-line mutations associated with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome), significantly fewer endometrial cancers occurred in women who had a prophylactic hysterectomy (0 of 61) than in those who did not (69 of 210).
All cells of the early human embryo are totipotent until shortly after the blastocyst stage, including the cells of the inner cell mass and even the primitive germ-line cells.
Germ-line therapy, performed on early human embryos is more problematic because it alters the basic genetic constitution of the person and all of his or her future offspring.
There is little doubt that research into therapeutic human cloning and germ-line therapies would expand our knowledge of human biology, especially in the areas of preimplantation and developmental genetics.