By Julie Steenhuysen
CHICAGO | Wed Oct 5, 2011 1:42pm EDT
(Reuters) - U.S. scientists for the first time have used a cloning technique to get tailor-made embryonic stem cells to grow in unfertilized human egg cells, a landmark finding and a potential new flashpoint for opponents of stem cell research.
The researchers were trying to prove it is possible to use a cloning technology called somatic cell nuclear transfer, or SCNT, to make embryonic stem cells that match a patient's DNA.
The achievement, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, is significant because such patient-specific cells potentially can be transplanted to replace damaged cells in people with diabetes and other diseases without rejection by the immune system.