Author`s name Pravda.Ru

British the first to be cloned?

The long-discussed possibility of human cloning is closer than ever in Britain – the first country to legalize therapeutic human cloning in 2001. Researchers at the University of Newcastle have asked the country's reproductive science regulator for permission to clone human embryos for stem cells that could produce new treatments for incurable diseases.

The British Fertilization and Embryology Authority is considering the license application from Newcastle University to clone human embryos for scientific research. reports, that religious and antiabortion groups have condemned the creation of life that will be destroyed.

Scientific opponents also warn of a slippery slope that will lead to carbon-copy reproductive cloning and made-to-order babies. Reproductive cloning is still banned in the UK, but therapeutic cloning has been legal since 2001.

The authority's research committee was scheduled to meet Wednesday to consider the request. There would be no immediate announcement of a decision, the authority said.