British House Of Lords Allows "Hybrid" Embryos

The British House of Lords has rejected an effort to ban the creation of "hybrid" embryos combining human and animal tissues.

By a vote of 268- 96 the House of Lords defeated a proposed amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that would have prohibited the creation of the hybrid embryos.

In its final form the legislation allows researchers to produce the hybrids, provided that they are not implanted in the womb.

Evan Harris, a Liberal Democrat who had led the parliamentary campaign to allow the practice, applauded the vote by the House of Lords, saying that it was "not rational" to bar the creation of hybrids, since the legislation allows the use of fully human embryos for research purposes. In either case, the embryos are destroyed once scientists have harvested the desired tissues.

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