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Petition to the UN in support of embryonic stem cell research signed by 29 Nobel Laureates

As reported on 5 October 2011 in Nature, for the first time scientists have used therapeutic cloning, known technically as somatic cell nuclear transfer (or SCNT), to create embryonic stem cells. The advance moves scientists one step closer to their goal of developing therapies to treat maladies including diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, researchers said.

“This paper will be seen as significant both by those who are trying to use SCNT to produce human patient-specific embryonic stem cell lines and by those who oppose human ‘cloning’ experiments,” said Professor Robin Lovell-Badge, a division head at Britain’s National Institute for Medical Research.

The development in New York marks a landmark in stem cell study, but also represents a potential new flashpoint for opponents of SCNT, and other forms of embryonic stem cell research. Click to urge the United Nations to establish a timetable for a declaration on human cloning for therapeutic reasons. The text of the 2005 United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning deliberately blurs the line separating reproductive and therapeutic cloning, and lends itself to the interpretation that the world body has called for a ban of therapeutic cloning, a point not conceded by states voting against and abstaining from the declaration.

Click above to watch Sky news report on SCNT. And sign the petition at GoPetition!

The petition has been signed by more than 600 scientists and scholars from around the world, including 29 Nobel Laureates, 13 US National Medal of Science winners, seven UK Royal Medal winners, five Lasker Award winners and three winners of the Israeli Wolf Prize.

Notable signatories on the petition include the following Nobel Laureates:

Sidney Altman, Chemistry, 1989
Kenneth J. Arrow,* Economics, 1972
Paul Berg,* Chemistry, 1980
Günter Blobel, Physiology or Medicine, 1999
Sir Sydney Brenner, Physiology or Medicine, 2002
Elias J. Corey,* Chemistry, 1990
Christian de Duve, Physiology or Medicine, 1974
John B. Fenn, Chemistry, 2002
Edmond H. Fischer, Physiology or Medicine, 1992
Jerome Friedman, Physics, 1990
Ivar Giaever, Physics, 1973
Walter Gilbert, Chemistry, 1980
Sir Clive Granger, Economics, 2003
Paul Greengard, Physiology or Medicine, 2000
Sir John Gurdon, Physiology or Medicine, 2012
Sir Tim Hunt, Physiology or Medicine, 2001
Sir Aaron Klug, Chemistry, 1982
Edwin Krebs, Physiology or Medicine, 1992
Jean-Marie Lehn, Chemistry, 1987
Rudolph A. Marcus,* Chemistry, 1992
Ferid Murad, Physiology or Medicine, 1998
Marshall Nirenberg,* Physiology or Medicine, 1968
Sir Paul Nurse, Physiology or Medicine, 2001
Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Physiology or Medicine, 1995
Douglas D. Osheroff, Physics, 1996
David Politzer, Physics, 2004
Sir John Walker, Chemistry, 1997
Eric Wieschaus, Physiology or Medicine, 1995
Torsten Wiesel,* Physiology or Medicine, 1981

The following distinguished scientists and scholars have signed the petition:

It is recognized that the views expressed in the petition represent those of the signers acting as individual citizens. They do not necessarily represent the views of the institutions with which they are affiliated.

Qais Al-Awqati, Columbia University, USA
Kari Alitalo, University of Helsinki, Finland
C. David Allis, Rockefeller University, USA
Herwig Baier, Max Planck Institute, Germany
Etienne E. Baulieu, University of Paris-Sud 11, France
Aaron T. Beck, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Jean-Paul Behr, University of Strasbourg, France
Sir John Bell, University of Oxford, UK
Colin Blakemore, University of Oxford, UK
Robert Braun, The Jackson Laboratory, USA
Sir Martin Bobrow, University of Cambridge, UK
Sir Walter Bodmer, University of Oxford, UK
Sir Christopher Booth, University College London, UK
Arthur Caplan, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Manuel Castells, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Jean-Pierre Changeux, Collège de France, France
Noam Chomsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
George Church, Harvard University, USA
William Danforth, Washington University, USA
James E. Darnell,* Rockefeller University, USA
HongKui Deng, Peking University, China
Jack E Dixon, University of California, San Diego, USA
Anna Dominiczak, University of Glasgow, UK
Ronald Evans, Salk Institute, USA
Gerald D. Fischbach, Columbia University, USA
Elaine Fuchs,* Rockefeller University, USA
Fred H. Gage, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, USA
Sir Richard Gardner, University of Oxford, UK
Emil Gotschlich, Rockefeller University, USA
Sir John Harris, University of Manchester, UK
Leonard Hayflick, University of California, San Francisco, USA
Sir David Hopwood, Norwich Research Park, UK
Sir Gabriel Horn, University of Cambridge, UK
Tony Hunter, Salk Institute, USA
Rudolf Jaenisch,* Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Hans Keirstead, University of California, Irvine, USA
Douglas Kell, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, UK
Irina Kerkis, Butantan Institute, Brazil
Sir David J. Kerr, University of Oxford, UK
John A. Kessler, Northwestern University, USA
Sir David King, University of Oxford, UK
Sir Hans Kornberg, Boston University, USA
Lawrence M. Krauss, Case Western Reserve University, USA
Sir Peter Lachmann, University of Cambridge, UK
Robert Lanza, Advanced Cell Technology, USA
Ruth Lehmann, New York University, USA
Ihor Lemischka, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, USA
Olle Lindvall, Lund University, Sweden
Stuart Lipton, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, USA
Nikos Logothetis, Max Planck Institute, Germany
Robin Lovell-Badge, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, UK
Jennifer Marshall Graves, The Australian National University, Australia
Chris Mason, University College London, UK
Bruce McEwen, Rockefeller University, USA
Sir Andrew McMichael, University of Oxford, UK
Mark Mercola, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, USA
Stephen Minger, GE Healthcare, UK
Andras Nagy, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Canada
Mark Noble, University of Rochester, USA
Jan Nolta, University of California, Davis, USA
Leena Peltonen-Palotie, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK
Stephen Pinker, Harvard University, USA
Dame Julia Polak, Imperial College London, UK
Barry Posner OC, McGill University, Canada
Peter H. Raven,* Washington University, USA
Brock Reeve, Harvard University, USA
Benjamin Reubinoff, Hadassah University, Israel
Alexander Rich,* Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Hans Schöler, Max Planck Institute, Germany
Wolfgang Schomburg, Former Judge od ICTY and ICTR, Germany
Andrew Sessler, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Lee Silver, Princeton University, USA
Kai Simons, Max Planck Institute, Germany
Peter Singer, Princeton University, USA
Douglas Sipp, RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Japan
Jonathan Slack, University of Minnesota, USA
Lorenz Studer, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, USA
Samuel Stupp, Northwestern University, USA
Azim Surani CBE, University of Cambridge, UK
Sir Richard Sykes, Imperial College London, UK
Evan Synder, Burham Institute for Medical Research, USA
John Urquhart, University of California, San Francisco, USA
Baron Marc Van Montagu, Ghent University, Belgium
Craig J. Venter,* J. Craig Venter Institute, USA
Umberto Veronesi, European Institute of Oncology, Italy
David Ward, Nevada Cancer Institute, USA
Gerald J. Wasserburg, California Institute of Technology, USA
Irving Weissman, Stanford University, USA
Sir Ian Wilmut, University of Edinburgh, UK
Lord Robert Winston, Imperial College London, UK
Rick Woychik, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, USA
Huanming Yang, Beijing Genomics Institute, China
Charles Yanofsky,* Stanford University, USA
Axel R. Zander, University of Hamburg, Germany
Philip Zimbardo, Stanford University, USA

*US National Medal of Science

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7 Responses to Petition to the UN in support of embryonic stem cell research signed by 29 Nobel Laureates

  1. Graham Henry Reply

    October 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Please let science do what they do best, DIsCOVER with what is realistically reliable research

  2. Don Collins Reply

    January 30, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Obviously a powerful endorsement of the scientific method which should any discussion of such an important new area of research. I recently was privileged to visit the UC San Francisco stem cell department where a briefing by its head person provided up to date information about where stem cell research now stands.

    I was told that there is alot of false information going around, some from unscrupulous providers to patients desperate for treatments which are more likely to be unhelpful and even dangerous.

  3. Robert Boothe Reply

    February 9, 2013 at 6:48 am

    I am a cancer survior, if it was't for research, where would we be now.

  4. Robert Grayson Reply

    March 22, 2013 at 3:38 am

    All hats off to the brave men and women who have worked so hard to develop cures for those afflicted with heinous diseases that can ONLY be cured by the discarded cells of fetuses by mothers desiring for good reason to terminate their pregnancy.

  5. Donald A. Collins Reply

    July 24, 2013 at 2:24 am

    Powerful material. Glad this is posted, but unfortunately not widely enough on other media.

  6. Donald A. Collins Reply

    August 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    The politically motivated religious and cultural conservatives often located in positions of political power many times retard real scientific progress.

  7. A S M khayrul Basher Reply

    September 27, 2013 at 8:10 am

    The research will help us to grow a strong human.

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