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?