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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.



You Can't Clone Dogs Without Lots of Suffering - Why Scientist who Created World First 'Frankenstein Pet' has Quit by Christopher BucktinMirrorApril 12th, 2014Lou Hawthorne is the forefather of cloning yet, after two decades and 20 other genetically engineered pooches, he has turned his back on the industry, sickened over the suffering it causes thousands of dogs each year.
Martha, My Dear: What De-Extinction Can’t Bring Backby Elizabeth KolbertThe New YorkerMarch 12th, 2014To bring a lost animal back because people might like to see it, or because they might feel better imagining that it’s not entirely gone, or just to demonstrate that it can be done is a vanity project, and nothing else.
The Mammoth Comethby Nathaniel RichThe New York TimesFebruary 27th, 2014Bringing extinct animals back to life is really happening — and it’s going to be very, very cool. Unless it ends up being very, very bad.
Disgraced Scientist Granted U.S. Patent for Work Found to be Fraudulentby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesFebruary 14th, 2014Korean researcher Hwang Woo-suk faked evidence of having created the world's first cloned human embryos, embezzled research funds and violated bioethics rules.
Are STAP Stem Cells a Paradigm Changer? Hopes and Fearsby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesFebruary 6th, 2014Two papers published in Nature on January 30 describe a new and remarkably simple technique for generating cells that can, like embryonic stem cells, develop into many different kinds of cells.
CGS Summary of Public Opinion Pollsby CGS StaffFebruary 4th, 2014This page offers comparisons of survey results for three technologies: reproductive cloning, research cloning, and inheritable genetic modification.
Stem Cell Breakthrough Could Reopen Clone Warsby EditorialNew ScientistJanuary 29th, 2014The ability to easily reprogram any cell to an embryonic state will inevitably bring out maverick human cloners. We shouldn't let them set the agenda.
Study Says New Method Could Be a Quicker Source of Stem Cellsby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesJanuary 29th, 2014A surprising study has found that a simple acid bath might turn cells in the body into stem cells that could one day be used for tissue repair and other medical treatments.
DNA Dreamingby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 13th, 2014A new documentary looks at the Chinese company that styles itself "the world’s largest genomics organization,” and its hunt for the genetic basis of intelligence.
Top 5 Reasons I am Opposed to Cloning Woolly Mammothsby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogNovember 18th, 2013I have to admit seeing a woolly mammoth, mastodon, or saber tooth tiger would be cool, but such efforts would not be without consequences and most of them would be profoundly negative.
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