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The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority was wise to approve human-animal hybrid cells for research. Plus, Craig Venter's genome and mining the moon

By Philip Ball   October 2007

The HFEA and hybrids

When the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) was established in 1991, no one had much inkling of the murky waters it would be required to patrol. The HFEA was envisaged primarily as a body for regulating assisted conception, and so it was given regulatory powers over human embryo research. Sixteen years later, the HFEA is having to pronounce on issues that have little bearing on fertility and conception, but rather concern research that some people say is blurring the boundaries of what it means to be human.

So far, the HFEA has remained commendably…

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