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Volume 698: debated on Wednesday 6 February 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answers by Lord Triesman on 12 December 2007 (WA 58) and by Lord Darzi of Denham on 10 January (WA 217), what are the realistic outcomes of research involving nuclear transfer; and whether the same objectives might be achieved more readily by other means. [HL1461]

The Government are committed to all avenues of research which have the potential to lead to treatments and cures for serious diseases and medical conditions. Cell nuclear replacement for the creation of embryos (therapeutic cloning) is one avenue of embryo research which it is hoped will lead to stem cell therapies, and to a better understanding of disease.

New research, involving the reprogramming of human somatic cells into pluripotent stem cells also offers hope of cell-based therapies and disease models. This technology, however, is in its infancy and significantly more data would be needed before any conclusions could be drawn about its effectiveness.