After a decade of failed attempts, researchers have finally managed to establish stem cell lines derived from cloned human embryos. Such patient-specific stem cells are potentially valuable for studying—and perhaps someday treating—a variety of diseases. What does the cloning breakthrough mean for medical research? And what ethical concerns does it raise? Does it pave the way for reproductive human cloning? Should the United States join other countries in banning any attempts to use the technique to make a human baby? And should donors of human oocytes—necessary for the cloning procedure—be paid for their donations, or does that open the door to exploitation? Does an alternative way of making patient-specific stem cells, called iPS cells, make clone-derived stem cells superfluous?
Join stem cell and cloning expert Dieter Egli of the New York Stem Cell Foundation and bioethicist Debra Mathews of Johns Hopkins University on Thursday, 27 June, at 3 p.m. EDT on this page for a live chat when we address these questions and take yours.
[iCP note: The comment box on the chat page may be used to submit questions for the experts in advance.]