The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has launched a public consultation on the ethical and social implications of creating human/animal embryos for research purposes.

This follows applications to the HFEA for licences to create such chimeras as a source of embryonic stem cells by two UK research teams in late 2006; the HFEA eventually decided that such applications were both legal and within their regulatory remit, but felt that a specific consultation on the topic was called for (see previous news story). The applications are currently suspended, and will pass to the licensing committee for consideration once the consultation is complete.

The Hybrids and Chimeras consultation document is available from the HFEA, and the consultation is open until 20 July 2007.

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