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But they warn any such research would need to be strictly controlled to prevent inheritable changes being made to the human genome, and any embryos that have been subject to genetic manipulation should be destroyed.

NSW Stem Cell Network director Bernie Tuch said Australia risked being left behind if it did not allow scientists to press forward on research involving human embryos, which were now allowed in the UK, Sweden and North America.

“We could adopt the approach of saying, ‘Thank you very much, we will wait for the rest of the world to explore this new area and then we will come on board’,” Professor Tuch said.

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Sydney Morning Herald

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