1. ACT human cloning expert resigns
The lead scientist on the project that claimed to have created
the first cloned human embryos is resigning. Jose Cibelli, vice-president
for research at Advanced Cell Technology (Worcester, MA, USA),
has accepted an appointment as professor of animal biotechnology
at Michigan State University (Lansing, MI, USA). ACT, which
like many other biotechnology firms has been financially struggling,
could not match an offer from MSU. Michigan state law bans all
human cloning procedures, whether for research or reproductive
purposes. ACT says that its human cloning project will resume
after it raises $10 million and finds a replacement for Cibelli.
For more information, see Antonio Regalado, “Cloning Pioneer
Abandons Project,” The Wall Street Journal (November
For more on ACT and the biotechnology industry, see http://www.genetics-and-society.org/politics/biotech.html
2. Confusion at ‘Missyplicity’
dog cloning project
The primary source of funding for a major university-based
project to clone pet animals has been withdrawn. Arizona businessman
John Sperling ended his $3.7 million support of the animal cloning
project at Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Instead, Sperling will invest $9 million in Genetics Savings
and Clone, a company he founded as a for-profit pet cloning
operation. Although the so-called ‘Missyplicity project'
at A&M – named for Sperling’s dog Missy –
produced the world's first cloned cat earlier this year, it
failed to successfully clone a dog. Sperling and Genetic Savings
and Clone will reportedly redirect their financial support of
pet cloning to researchers in California. Meanwhile, the A&M
lab will focus on livestock cloning and seek other funding sources.
For report, see: Kerry Fehr-Snyder, “Millionaire Transfers
Dog-Cloning Grant,” The Arizona Republic (November
For more on pet cloning, see http://www.genetics-and-society.org/politics/promodeveloping/pet.html