British Scientists have been given the go-ahead to create human-animal embryos for research purposes on Wednesday.

The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) approved the work in principle after a public consultation found the majority of people were at ease with the research.

Scientists want to create hybrid embryos by merging human cells with animal eggs in a bid to extract stem cells.

The resulting "cytoplastic hybrid" embryos, or "cybrid" would be 99.9 percent human and 0.1 percent animal. The embryos would then be destroyed within 14 days.

Two teams from Kings College London and Newcastle University have already applied to the HFEA for permission to create such hybrid embryos to overcome a shortage of donated human eggs.

It is now expected individual hearings for these two applications will be held in November with other scientists expected to follow suit.

The hybrids embryos will be used to generate stem cells, which could lead to new treatments for currently incurable conditions, such as Parkinson's and motor neurons disease.

"This is not a total green light for cytoplasmic hybrid research, but recognition that this area of research can, with caution and careful scrutiny, be permitted," the HFEA said in a statement.

The government originally proposed banning the technique in a white paper last year, but it reversed its decision this year in a bill.


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