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About Reproductive Cloning


Reproductive cloning is the production of a genetic duplicate of an existing organism. A human clone would be a genetic copy of an existing person.

Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is the most common cloning technique. SCNT involves putting the nucleus of a body cell into an egg from which the nucleus has been removed. This produces a clonal embryo, which is triggered to begin developing with chemicals or electricity. Placing this cloned embryo into the uterus of a female animal and bringing it to term creates a clone, with genes identical to those of the animal from which the original body cell was taken.

The Basic Science

Frequently Asked Questions

Arguments Pro & Con

More than eighteen cloned mammals have been produced with SCNT, but claims by rogue scientists to have cloned a human child have been false.

New techniques, such as the derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells via cellular reprogramming, suggest other potential methods of reproductive cloning.

Human reproductive cloning is almost universally opposed. Overwhelming majorities reject it in opinion surveys. Many international agreements and countries (though not the United States) formally prohibit it.

Some oppose reproductive cloning because of safety considerations. Animal cloning is seldom successful, and many scientists believe that reproductive cloning can never be made safe. Human reproductive cloning would also threaten the psychological well-being of cloned children, open the door to more powerful genetic manipulation technologies, and raise other social and ethical concerns.



The Possibility Of A Three-Parent Baby[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Indira LakshamananThe Diane Rehm ShowFebruary 25th, 2016A discussion about the science, ethics, and politics of a controversial technique that is a form of inheritable genetic modification.
Chinese Cloning Firm Pumps $15 Million into California Stem Cell Businessby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportFebruary 24th, 2016A financially strapped California stem cell company could be taken over by a Chinese enterprise that says it can clone humans, and is "only holding off for fear of the public reaction."
A Cautious Approach to Mitochondrial Replacementby Françoise BaylisImpact EthicsFebruary 3rd, 2016While the motivation with mitochondrial replacement (MRT) is distinct from cloning, the transfer technology is the same. MRT can legitimately be seen as a “quiet way station” in which to refine the techniques essential for other genetic interventions (including cloning).
I Considered Cloning Myself -- But I'm Having Second Thoughtsby Stephen MossThe GuardianDecember 23rd, 2015A British couple have paid $100,000 to clone their dog. But however tempting the process might be for a human egoist, it would destroy the point of life: that it ends.
Biopolitical News of 2015by Elliot Hosman, Pete Shanks & Marcy Darnovsky, Biopolitical TimesDecember 22nd, 2015We highlight 2015’s breaking news stories about human biotech developments.
Top Biopolitical Times Posts of 2015by Elliot Hosman, Pete Shanks & Marcy Darnovsky, Biopolitical TimesDecember 20th, 2015Here are a few of our favorites blogs of 2015.
China 'clone factory' scientist eyes human replicationby Rebecca DavisAgence France PresseDecember 1st, 2015The scientist behind the world's biggest cloning factory has technology advanced enough to replicate humans, and is only holding off for fear of the public reaction.
Disgraced clone expert set for big comeback[cites CGS consultant Pete Shanks]by Chang May ChoonThe Straits TimesNovember 30th, 2015Hwang Woo Suk is partnering with a Chinese biotech firm to to open the world's largest animal cloning factory in Tianjin.
Center for Genetics and Society releases open letter and report calling for prohibitions on human germline engineering[Press statement]November 29th, 2015Scholars, health practitioners, scientists, public interest advocates, and others have signed a CGS-organized open letter calling for strengthened prohibitions against heritable human genetic modification.
E.U. parliament votes to ban cloning of farm animalsby Gretchen VogelScienceSeptember 8th, 2015The ban does not cover cloning for research purposes, nor does it prevent efforts to clone endangered species.
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