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Wednesday, 27 February, 2002, 16:03 GMT
The cloning debate
Graphic BBC
Scientists in the UK have been given the go-ahead to create human embryo clones under strictly controlled conditions.

BBC News Online looks back on the short history of the debate that surrounds cloning technology.

Lords back cloning research

Stem cells in a laboratory
Stem cells in a laboratory

February 2002

The House of Lords select committee set up last year to examine claims that making the clones was unnecessary has decided that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority can issue research licences. The BBC's Sue Nelson reports.

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Human cloning possible "within weeks"

Dr Severino Antinori defends his decision to continue his cloning plans BBC
Dr Severino Antinori defends his decision to continue his cloning plans

August 2001

The doctors behind the project to produce the world's first human clone have been defending their plans in front of a panel of scientific experts in America. They are defying profound scientific and moral objections. The BBC's Tom Carver reports.

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US moves against human cloning

President Bush was in favour of the ban AP
President Bush was in favour of the ban

August 2001

The United States House of Representatives voted to ban all human cloning - and went on to reject an amendment to the bill that would have permitted human cloning for stem cell research. The BBC's Rob Watson reports.

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Doctor announces clone plan

Dr Severino Antinori practises in Rome AFP
Dr Severino Antinori practises in Rome

March 2001

Doctors from Italy and the United States said on Friday they intended to push ahead with their plans to clone human beings. The BBC's Fergus Walsh was in Rome for the announcement.

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Simple science

Dolly PA
Dolly: The world's first mammal clone made from an adult cell

Professor Antinori's claims may seem more like science fiction than practical medicine but, as the BBC's science correspondent Pallab Ghosh explains, the technology which created Dolly the sheep could also be used for human cloning.

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MPs give the go-ahead

The commons was told the research could hold
The commons was told the research could hold "the key to healing within the human body"

December 2000

UK politicians vote decisively in favour of extending the research done on human embryos, so that special cells can be taken from embryos at a very early stage of development. The BBC's Tom Heap reports.

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Ethical debates

Human embryos BBC
Human clones could soon be produced

August 2000

The committee's recommendation that therapeutic cloning be allowed in the UK has been widely welcomed by scientists, but greeted with horror by some "pro-life" groups and church leaders. The BBC's Pallab Ghosh reports.

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Experts advise research
Stem cell Geron
Up close: A human embryonic stem cell

August 2000

An expert panel told the British Government that UK scientists should be allowed to carry out a limited form of human cloning. The BBC's Christine McGourty examines the issues.

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The breakthrough
Embryonic stem cells BBC
Embryonic stem cells promise so much

November 1998

For the first time, scientists manage to isolate and grow human embryonic stem cells indefinitely in the laboratory. These are the parent cells for nearly all the tissues in the body. The BBC's James Wilkinson reports.

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