Year in Review: Caffeine triggers cloning advance

Human embryonic stem cells copied successfully

By Meghan Rosen, 15:00 PM December 13, 2013

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With a tweak to the technique that cloned a sheep in 1996, scientists have generated stem cells in the lab that genetically match those found in human embryos.

The feat pumps life into a sputtering field. Until now, researchers had to harvest the cells from embryos left over from in vitro fertilization, or tinker with ways to turn adult cells into embryonic ones, a task riddled with technical challenges.

Embryonic stem cells are so prized because they can transform into any type of cell in the...

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