From the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4245267.stm
Professor Ian Wilmut and a team at Kings College in London plan to clone early stage embryos to study motor neurone disease (MND).
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is expected to grant consent.
Professor Wilmut says it would mean the disease can be studied in unprecedented detail. But critics argue that testing human embryos is immoral.
Therapeutic cloning for research has been legal in the UK since 2001 and it would be only the second time the authority has given consent.
This is a very exciting development
Professor Roger Pederson, professor of regenerative medicine at Cambridge University
Q&A: Therapeutic cloning
The professor's team was the first to apply for a therapeutic cloning licence in the country.
Up until now, scientists have wanted to create cloned embryos to see if they can be grown into tissues to repair damaged body parts, explained the BBC Science Correspondent Pallab Ghosh.
But Professor Wilmut's proposal is different as he does not plan to grow healthy replacement tissue.
Instead he aims to deliberately clone embryos that have MND from patients who have the condition.
Professor Wilmut, of the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, says cells from the embryos can be used to study how the disease progresses in unprecedented detail.
He also says the cells can be used to try out new drugs to see if they stop the disease from progressing.
MND is caused by the death of cells - called motor neurones - that control movement in the brain and spinal cord.
It affects about 5,000 people in the UK. Half of people with MND die within 14 months of diagnosis.
Weakness in the muscles that supply the face and throat also cause problems with speech and difficulty chewing and swallowing.
The aim is to study what goes wrong in the nerve cells of patients suffering from MND.
Patients groups say studying human embryo cells might provide more information than animal experiments alone.
Those opposed to the research say the work is unethical, unnecessary and a step toward full blown human cloning.
However, Professor Wilmut has previously stressed that his team has no intention of producing cloned babies, and said the embryos will be destroyed after experimentation.
Professor Roger Pederson, professor of regenerative medicine at Cambridge University, said: "This is a very exciting development. It will enable the disease to be studied throughout its development.
"It's very likely to work."