Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer


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somatic cell nuclear transfer Cloning

Human cloning has become a hot topic for debate. As we progressed one step closer to successfully cloning and developing a human being, legislators and the general public have become more concerned about the ethical and moral implications of this procedure. The federal government has been unsuccessful in reaching an agreement as to what policy to pass and enact. Thus, any current legislation on human cloning has been developed and enforced by individual states. The state of California is one of the few states in the United States that has a policy on human cloning. Human cloning is banned in the state of California. Because current policy does not allow for any human cloning to take place, many research projects have come to a standstill. Scientists have still been able to carry out certain cloning procedures that may not be viewed as ethical by the general public as a result of loopholes in current legislation. It is recommended that the current policy in place be revised to eliminate these loopholes and rewritten to permit human cloning to take place to generate the tissue and cells needed for therapeutic development and research to take place. The ban on human cloning should only apply when the procedure is used for reproductive purposes because current research has shown that it is not safe to use in humans at this time(Appendix A.1). With proper restrictions and guidelines in place, society stands to gain many benefits through permitting human cloning for the purpose of research. DRAFT April 17, 1999 M E M O R A N D U M TO: California State Legislators and Governor Gray Davis DATE: April 17, 1999 SUBJECT: Recommendation that the state of California continues its ban on human cloning but revise the current policy to permit human cloning for research. BACKGROUND On July 5, 1996, researchers in Scotland made history when they announced the birth of Dolly, the world's first successful cloning of a sheep (Appendix A.1). The world was shocked. The ability to reproduce human beings without sexual reproduction was no longer only an idea to be explored in sci-fi movies and books. After over forty years of research and development, human cloning is quickly becoming a reality. The basic technique used to clone humans and animals, somatic-cell nuclear transfer, involves the insertion of DNA from a somatic cell into an egg which has had its nucleus removed (Appendix A.2). The egg begins to divide and develop into an embryo which is implanted into the uterus of a surrogate female, where it is carried to term and delivered(Appendix A.3). A clone is genetically identical to the person or animal who provided the somatic cell that provided the DNA. Much of the new laws being drafted to prevent human cloning have yet to be enacted or reviewed by Congress. There has been much debate between the Democrats and Republicans on this issue. Problems with ethical concerns over human cloning play a very large role in hindering the adoption of various legislation. Anti-abortion organizations have entered the debate by voicing their opinions about human cloning and research. They claim that by allowing research to take place on human embryos, Congress would be giving approval for the destruction of life(Appendix A.4). Would we, in fact, be devaluing life by creating, experimenting and killing human embryos for the purpose of research?(Appendix A.5) There has also been concern over the rights of a human clone. Issues have been raised about the "individuality, autonomy, objectification, and kinship of the resulting children" (Appendix A.6). Because the clone would be identical genetically and phenotypically to a person who currently exists or did exist in the past, he or she may be expected to follow in the footsteps of the DNA donor. This would take away any individuality and autonomy that would normally be experienced by an individual conceived sexually. Objectification becomes a matter of concern because of the way in which the clone is produced or "conceived". The clone is not produced sexually but through asexual scientific means. Although in vitro fertilization involves the fertilization of the egg in a petri dish or test tube, the involvement of sperm makes it sexual and thus, more "normal" and acceptable ... more

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Argumentative and Persuasive Essay - Human Cloning Debate and Life Issues  Cloning Argumentative Persuasive Essays
Human Cloning Debate and Life Issues


The use of cloning to produce "Dolly" the sheep has prompted a public debate about cloning humans. This issue has quickly become linked with the issues of abortion and embryo research.  

What is cloning?

Cloning is a way of producing a genetic twin of an organism, without sexual reproduction. The method used to produce Dolly the sheep is called "somatic cell nuclear transfer": the nucleus of a body cell ("somatic cell") is transferred into an unfertilized egg whose nucleus has been removed or rendered inactive. A tiny electric pulse may then stimulate development of the resulting embryo, which is an almost exact genetic twin of the creature that supplied the nucleus. It may be technically possible to use this procedure to reproduce human beings.  

What does cloning have to do with embryo research?

A great deal. Cloning a human being or other large organism begins by artificially producing an embryo of that species. To produce one live sheep, "Dolly," scientists created 277 sheep embryos; 276 died or were discarded. Experiments in human cloning would involve the creation and destruction of human embryos on a massive scale.  

Didn't the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) propose a ban on cloning?

Not really. It proposed a five-year moratorium on use of cloning to produce a "child," meaning a live-born child. This would allow unlimited cloning to produce human embryos, so long as the embryos were then destroyed. Such experiments could be used to refine the procedure and test its likelihood of causing birth defects. After years of destructive experiments, the ban on allowing live birth could be reconsidered. So NBAC's proposal is not a ban on cloning but a permission slip for experimenting on embryos and a mandate for destroying them. This approach is reflected in S. 1602, a bill introduced by Senators Kennedy and Feinstein to prohibit transferring a cloned human embryo to "a woman's uterus." Under S. 1602, researchers could clone embryos and experiment on them without limit; they would violate the law only if they failed to throw away the embryos afterwards.  

What does human cloning have to do with abortion?

Quite a bit, because bills like S. 1602 would enforce a ban on "cloning a human being" by mandating the destruction of all cloned human embryos. This would mark the first time Congress has ever declared that human embryos are not humans and are worthy only of destruction.  

How have pro-life legislators reacted to the Commission's proposal?

They have introduced well-crafted bills that actually ban the use of cloning to produce human embryos, instead of banning live birth for embryos already produced by cloning. For example, Senators Bond, Frist, Lott and others have introduced S. 1601, which bans the use of human somatic cell nuclear transfer to produce an embryo (including a preimplantation embryo). This bill bans the use of cloning technology on humans, instead of banning pregnancy or live birth.  

What is the current stance of the biotechnology industry?

A number of biotechnology companies, which have a commercial interest in the possibilities of cloning, oppose the Bond/Frist/Lott bill as an infringement on their freedom to explore new avenues of research. They support the Kennedy/Feinstein approach: Allow unlimited cloning and experiments on cloned embryos, so long as the embryos are later discarded.  

Why do these companies want to produce human embryos by cloning?

Some companies want to clone embryos so they can refine the procedure and ultimately produce live-born children by cloning. The procedure could then be offered to infertile couples, people who want to copy themselves, etc. Other researchers are more interested in the cloned embryos themselves. The ability to produce large numbers of identical embryos by cloning may make it easier, for example, to test the effect of different stimuli or toxic drugs on human development -- differences in outcome could readily be attributed to differences in the stimuli, since the embryos themselves would be identical. Cloning could produce an unlimited supply of human "guinea pigs" for controlled experiments, dissection to produce cell lines, etc.  

How do these commercial interests argue against a real ban on human cloning? ... more

somatic cell nuclear transfer

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  • O: Cloning O: Cloning Cloning Human cloning has become a hot topic for debate. As we progressed one step closer to successfully cloning and developing a human being, legislators and the general public have become more concerned about the ethical and moral implications of this procedure. The federal government has been unsuccessful in reaching an agreement as to what policy to pass and enact. Thus, any current legislation on human cloning has been developed and enforced by individual states. The state of California is...
  • M: Argumentative and Persuasive Essay - Human Cloning M: Argumentative and Persuasive Essay - Human Cloning Argumentative and Persuasive Essay - Human Cloning Debate and Life Issues Cloning Argumentative Persuasive Essays Human Cloning Debate and Life Issues The use of cloning to produce Dolly the sheep has prompted a public debate about cloning humans. This issue has quickly become linked with the issues of abortion and embryo research. What is cloning? Cloning is a way of producing a genetic twin of an organism, without sexual reproduction. The method used to produce Dolly the sheep is called som...
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  • N: Cloning N: Cloning Cloning The History of CloningThe theory of being able to make a genetic copy (a clone) of another animal has been around for quite a while. In this section as the title reads I will show the history of cloning.400 million years B. C.- Plants have been cloning themselves since not to long (as far as the Earth is concerned) after their introduction to our planet. They send out runners that create an identical copy of the parent plant. 1938- Hans Spermann, of Germany, envisions what he calls the f...
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  • C: Cloning C: Cloning Cloning The History of CloningThe theory of being able to make a genetic copy (a clone) of another animal has been around for quite a while. In this section as the title reads I will show the history of cloning.400 million years B. C.- Plants have been cloning themselves since not to long (as far as the Earth is concerned) after their introduction to our planet. They send out runners that create an identical copy of the parent plant. 1938- Hans Spermann, of Germany, envisions what he calls the ...
  • L: Bioethics L: Bioethics Bioethics Bioethics, which is the study of value judgments pertaining to human conduct in the area of biology and includes those related to the practice of medicine, has been an important aspect of all areas in the scientific field (Bernstein, Maurice, M.D.). It is one of the factors that says whether or not certain scientific research can go on, and if it can, under which rules and regulations it must abide by. One of the most recent and controversial issues facing our society today is the idea...
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  • A: Ethics A: Ethics Ethics Bioethics Bioethics Bioethics, which is the study of value judgments pertaining to human conduct in the area of biology and includes those related to the practice of medicine, has been an important aspect of all areas in the scientific field (Bernstein, Maurice, M.D.). It is one of the factors that says whether or not certain scientific research can go on, and if it can, under which rules and regulations it must abide by. One of the most recent and controversial issues facing our society ...
  • R: The History of Cloning R: The History of Cloning The History of Cloning The theory of being able to make a genetic copy (a clone) of another animal has been around for quite a while. In this section as the title reads I will show the history of cloning. 400 million years B. C.- Plants have been cloning themselves since not to long (as far as the Earth is concerned) after their introduction to our planet. They send out runners that create an identical copy of the parent plant. 1938- Hans Spermann, of Germany, envisions what he calls the fantast...
  •  : Genetic cloning : Genetic cloning genetic cloning A controversial issue of the twenty-first century is the possible application of new techniques in genetic engineering to produce human clones. Up until now genetic engineering and cloning has been used to clone plants, unicellular organisms, amphibians and simple mammals. This has led to significant advances in agriculture, industry, and medicine. Newer techniques in genetic engineering have enabled scientists to clone more complex mammals and opened up the possibility of clonin...
  • T: Cloning T: Cloning cloning Introduction The possibility of human cloning, raised when Scottish scientists at Roslin Institute created the much-celebrated sheep Dolly (Nature 385, 810-13, 1997), aroused worldwide interest and concern because of its scientific and ethical implications. The feat, cited by Science magazine as the breakthrough of 1997, also generated uncertainty over the meaning of cloning --an umbrella term traditionally used by scientists to describe different processes for duplicating biological mat...
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  • A: Cloning and the USA A: Cloning and the USA Cloning and the USA Cloning and the United States Government On February 24, 1997 Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland announced that scientists had cloned an adult mammal for the first time. These researchers removed a nucleus from a mammary gland of a sheep and implanted the nucleus into a sheep\'s egg with the egg\'s nucleus already removed. This embryo was then inserted into a surrogate sheep\'s uterus. This procedure is called somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning. This process could hav...
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