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Russia president signs bill extending human cloning ban

[JURIST] Russian President Dmitry Medvedev [official profile] signed a bill Monday re-implementing a ban on human cloning [JURIST news archive] in Russia, according to the Kremlin Press Service. The bill, which replaces a previous ban on human cloning that expired in 2007, prohibits attempts to clone human beings [RIA Novosti report] until the state determines how to regulate the practice. The bill does not prevent embryonic stem cell [NIH report; JURIST news archive] research. The lower [RIA Novosti report] and upper houses [RIA Novosti report] of Russia's parliament approved the legislation earlier this month.

Last year, the US National Institute of Health (NIH) [official website] issued proposed guidelines [JURIST report] for funding human embryonic research, which would allow funding only if the embryos would have otherwise been destroyed and the donor consented to their use for research. The guidelines also state that stem cells cannot be obtained from somatic cell nuclear transfer, or cloning, and from embryos specifically created for research. In 2007, the UN Institute of Advanced Studies [official website] called for a global ban [JURIST report] on cloning. In 2005, the UN General Assembly passed [JURIST report] a non-binding resolution [materials] calling for a total ban on human cloning, after negotiations for a binding treaty collapsed. More than 50 countries have enacted domestic bans on human cloning.

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