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Human cloning could happen within 50 years: Sir John Gurdon, Nobel Prize winner

London, Dec 20 (): A top British scientist, Sir John Gurdon, Nobel Prize winner for medicine in 2012 expects human clones will be allowed and accepted and could happen within 50 years. Some parents who lost their children can be able to clone copies and be gifted with the look-alike children.

Sir John Gurdon is known for his research in cloning and nuclear transplantation. He worked in cloning frogs in 1950s which led to the replication of Dolly the sheep in 1996.

In a radio programme he said cloning was simply “copying what nature has already produced”. Although such an attempt to clone one entire human would give rise to a host of composite ethical problems, the biologist claimed that people would quickly overcome their fears if the technique proves to be medically useful.

He said that in-vitro fertilisation was viewed with extreme doubts when it was first developed but nowadays it is widely accepted after the birth of first test tube baby Louise Brown, in 1978.

He also added lot of improvements in cloning methods to be made before it is applied for human beings because the majority of cloned animal embryos today are deformed. He claimed that 60 percent of his students reported in favour of human cloning if it is effective and safe.

Gurdon said that when asked of mammal cloning in 1960s, I replied,” This could happen in between 10 to 100 years and it turned out that wasn’t far off the mark as far as Dolly was concerned.” He added that the same answer is for human cloning is appropriate.

This year he and Shinya Yamanaka were honoured with the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells. He was also awarded the 2009 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research award.