Potentially huge development with big implications for the ethics of stem cell research. According to New Scientist the team at Advanced Cell Technology has developed a way to make eggs behave as if they were fertilized without being fertilized. This should placate all but the most strident "life begins at conception" opposition to stem cell research. It will also help improve chances with IVF. "Swann’s team tricked the eggs into dividing by injecting phospholipase C-zeta (PLC-zeta), an enzyme produced by sperm that Swann discovered two years ago with Cardiff colleague Tony Lai."
The article briefly mentions a few other methods scientists are using to create stem cells. Those have been discussed before, but thus far haven't produced viable stem cell lines. The sooner one can generate stem cells without ethical problems the sooner one big conflict in America can end. (It may also make the funding issue in California interesting)
"The sooner one can generate stem cells without ethical problems the sooner one big conflict in America can end."
Then let the cloning controversy begin.
It isn't really cloning since the egg isn't fertilized. It is still an egg. It has no potential to be a person. It is much more akin to culturing cells.
But you are right, some will probably still get upset. One interview in the article hinted in that direction.
This has to be a huge disappointment for the NARAL crowd.