Monday, 22 January, 2001, 09:16 GMT
The upper chamber of the British Parliament, the House of Lords, is today debating controversial plans to relax laws on research into human embryos.
The proposals have been criticised by religious leaders, who argue they are being pushed through without due consideration.
Correspondents say the House of Lords may refer the matter to a select committee, in effect shelving the government's plans.
The proposals -- already passed by the lower house the House of Commons -- would allow limited cloning of stem cells from embryos in the hope of finding a treatment for diseases like Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer's.
From the newsroom of the BBC World Service