LONDON: For the first time, scientists have created human embryos from slivers of skin, a feat they say has brought closer the day when babies are cloned in the lab.
In experiments that mirror the cloning technique used to make 'Dolly the sheep', the researchers took cells from men's arms and legs and placed them into women's eggs.
The embryos created lived for only five or six days, but they represented a key step in the quest for treatments for incurable diseases from Alzheimer's to cancer, they said.
Very early-stage embryos have been made from human skin before, but the researchers claimed to have got further than anyone else. Importantly, they appeared to have worked out why others have failed, meaning the research could now progress in leaps and bounds, the Daily Mail reported.
For their study, the scientists from the New York stem cell foundation laboratory paid 16 young women for their eggs and took tiny samples from the skin of two men.