A technical breakthrough has enabled scientists in Britain to create for the first time dozens of cloned embryos from adult monkeys, raising the prospect of the same procedure being used to make cloned human embryos. This new technique promises to revolutionize the efficiency by which scientists can turn human eggs into cloned embryos.

The procedure for cloning is as follows: the nucleus of a healthy, unfertilized egg is removed and another nucleus from the mature skin cell of an adult animal is placed inside the egg. With careful timing and the use of electrical impulses, an embryo can be created which is a genetic clone of the skin tissue donor. It is possible to implant embryos created in this way into the womb to produce cloned animals – much like the procedure with Dolly.

This new technique will not be welcomed in all quarters. Opponents of cloning will argue that the new technique of manipulating primate eggs to improve cloning efficiency will lead to increased attempts at creating — and destroying — cloned human embryos for research purposes.

Although it is illegal in Britain (and in Canada I believe) to place any such cloned embryos into the womb of a woman, many people also fear the relative ease of being able to perform cloning using the skin cells of an adult will increase the chances of its being applied to produce a cloned baby.

Isn’t it an accepted dictum that what scientists can do, they in fact do sooner or later.

Do you support animal cloning?

Do you support cloning for therapeutic purposes?

Would you ever support human cloning?

If not, how can it be stopped?



  1. 1
    Barbara Says:

    It is an accepted dictum that whatever HUMAN BEINGS can do, they will do sooner or later — and much the sooner if they are paid by someone scads of money to do so!
    I am opposed to the notion of animal or human cloning. Legal means of stopping it should be pursued. Alas, not all countries will stop cloning research. One can hope that the products of this research will be so defective, as poor Dolly, that the line of research will be discontinued due to public horror.

  2. 2

    Too many abominable ramifications. For instance, imagine if every politician had his or her own Karl Rove working behind the scenes. And what would cloning politicians do to term limits? I shudder at the thought.

  3. 3
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Human cloning is a nono as far as I am concerned. However if some crazy scientists want to create their own Frankenstein I fear nothing will stop them once the technology will be working. Making laws is fine but the problem is enforcement. Will we have a cloning police? This is more of an ethical than a legal problem. However ethic seems to be on its way out.

  4. 4
    Chimera Says:

    Not enough information.

    The problem with the cloning of Dolly was something I had predicted would happen, even before it was tried (and since I’m not a geneticist, nobody paid any attention to my opinion until they tried it themselves — and failed for exactly the reason I said they would). They did not take into acount the age and chromosomal programming for age of the cells with which they were working.

    I’m not opposed to cloning. I am opposed to legislating against it for specious, fearful, or idealistic reasons. I want to know a whole lot more about it, and the only way to learn is for someone to do it and follow through, making the information public. Only then will people have the wherewithal to make up their minds for themselves whether or not it’s a good thing. I don’t want anyone to be making that decision for me.

    Illegal to implant a cloned embryo, Neil? Really? If that’s true, how do they plan to enforce that law?

  5. 5
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    I guess the cloning police will have to be recruited amongst obstericians, gynecologists and veterinarians.
    That said, I repeat, a law is not part of any solution but part of all the problems.

  6. 6
    Chimera Says:

    Paul: But…if the enforcers of the law are the same people who are breaking the law…

    …’scuze me…my head hurts…I better go lie down… 😆

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