The Israeli Knesset has once again declined to ban human reproductive cloning. Instead it has extended a moratorium on it for another seven years. Scientists had apparently persuaded them that a permanent ban would make some researchers would abandon their cloning research.
They seem to have won the day, as the government had only proposed a five-year moratorium.
Israel is a world leader in human embryonic stem cell research. A recent report in the journal Stem Cells ranked Israeli scientists second in the world, after the US in in absolute (not per capita) numbers of publications in scientific journals up to the end of 2005. And four of the best-ever hESC peer-reviewed articles have been written by Israelis.
One of the leading hESC scientists in Israel, Benjamin Reubinoff, told the Jerusalem Post: "I am very happy that Israel has such a prominent role in hESC," he said.
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