Friday, November 13, 2009

Physician Steps into Stupidity on Human Cloning Issue

"As a physician, I gave an oath when I was a young man in training to preserve life. We really think experimenting with human cloning and with stem cell research is really not the direction to go in as a state," said Rapid City family physician Sam Huot.

Human cloning and stem cell technology will preserve and extend life. Some physicians are not scientific enough to separate fact from fiction.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Embryonic Stem Cells one Step Closer to Curing Infertility

New research may help solve the puzzle of infertility.

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Robert Bock or Marianne Glass Miller

NIH-Funded Researchers Transform Embryonic Stem Cells Into Human Germ Cells
Advance Provides Potential Tool to Find Causes of Unexplained Infertility, Birth Defects

Researchers funded in part by the National Institutes of Health have discovered how to transform human embryonic stem cells into germ cells, the embryonic cells that ultimately give rise to sperm and eggs. The advance will allow researchers to observe human germ cells — previously inaccessible — in laboratory dishes.

"This achievement opens a new window into what was only recently a hidden stage of human development," said Susan B. Shurin, M.D., acting director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the NIH Institute that provided funding for the study. "Laboratory observation of human germ cells has the potential to yield important clues to the origins of unexplained infertility and to the genesis of many birth defects and chromosomal disorders."

The results were published online in Nature on Oct. 28.

The study was conducted by Kehkooi Kee, Vanessa T. Angeles, Martha Flores, Ha Nam Nguyen and Renee A. Reijo Pera, all of Stanford University School of Medicine.

Researchers have long sought to understand the process by which cells in the early human embryo mature into germ cells, explained Dr. Reijo Pera, the study’s senior author. But studying this process in human beings has been impossible in the past, because it takes place so early in development — before the embryo is two weeks old.

Dr. Reijo Pera explained that the ability to observe germ cells in laboratory cultures opens up several promising new avenues of research. Although infertility is apparent only after sexual maturity, she said, many forms of unexplained infertility are thought to have their origins in errors that occur in the cells of the early embryo. The ability to observe embryonic germ cells as they develop may allow researchers to pinpoint potential genetic changes underlying infertility. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infertility is a major health problem that costs the United States more than $5 billion annually.

The researchers began with human embryonic stem cells, to which they added a gene that makes a protein which flashes green when a gene found only in germ cells is turned on. After the embryonic stem cells grew and changed for two weeks, the researchers isolated the cells that flashed green.

The researchers next conducted a variety of tests to confirm that the green fluorescing cells behaved like germ cells. Once convinced that their cells were in fact germ cells, the researchers turned on and off several candidate genes to see if those genes played a role in the development of stem cells into immature germ cells. The three genes they tested are named DAZ, DAZL and BOULE, and all come from the same family of genes. Dr. Reijo Pera discovered the first of them, DAZ (Deleted in AZoospermia), in the mid-1990s, when she showed that infertile men who lack germ cells often lack the gene.

In the new study, she and her colleagues showed that DAZL was necessary to transform embryonic stem cells into germ cells. When DAZL was turned off, just half as many germ cells formed. DAZ and BOULE, by contrast, acted later in the germ cells' maturation, nudging the cells into a phase called meiosis, during which cells reduce their number of chromosomes by half.

The researchers even observed that some male germ cells went all the way through the process of meiosis, to the point where they had half as much genetic material as they had begun with. They did not stimulate female germ cells to progress through meiosis because female human germ cells pause partway through meiosis and remain in that state for many years, through sexual maturity.

Dr. Reijo Pera next plans to try the same techniques with so-called induced pluripotent stem cells. Induced pluripotent cells are adult cells that have been reprogrammed to behave like embryonic cells. If it works, she hopes to take cells from an adult with infertility, transform them into germ cells and study them for clues to the cause of the adult's infertility.

The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Institute's Web site at
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Human Cloning Questions

Hello, I am a high school student whom is doing a multi genre paper on human cloning. For one of my genres, I have to interview someone. I was hoping I could ask a few questions and receive answers ASAP.
1) What is your view on human cloning?
2) Why do you believe that it will/won't benefit the United States?
3) In replacement cloning, (lets say to clone a liver), roughly how long would it take?
4) Where would this cloning take place?
5) Would human cloning advance our country in any ways? If so, how?

Please help the Human Cloning Foundation answer these questions.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Human Cloning Update on Hwang Woo-Suk

Remember Hwang Woo-Suk, who got into trouble in South Korea for human cloning?

He was "disgraced" after an embryonic cell line he developed was alleged to be hoax, and after it was revealed that female researchers in his clinic supposedly donated eggs to the cloning projects being done.

Well, it has been reported that Hwang Woo-suk set up Suam Biotechnology Center in 2006 and focused on animal cloning.

An article on says:

"At the request of BioArts International, an American biotech company, it [Suam] cloned the pet dog of Orion Group Chairman John Sperling in 2007. The team also cloned the rare Chinese breed Tibetan Mastiffs and 9/11 hero dog Trakr."

So, clearly Hwang Woo-Suk is a talented scientist.

Pro-Human Cloning Political Ad

This is a 4 minute pro-human cloning video on YouTube.

It has a byline of: "LA CAUSA Biology A project. A political advertisement for human cloning."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Free Hwang Woo-Suk

Hwang Woo-Suk claimed to have created a stem cell line from a cloned human embryo in 2004 in a paper in "Science."

Later, it was found out that some of his female lab personal were paid for, or donated their eggs for research. This caused a questionable uproar.

Supposedly, his research was debunked as fake.

Hwang is still credited for cloning Snuppy, the world's first cloned dog.

The persecution of Hwang has been too political.

Hwang, at one time was working on cloning a Siberian tiger and the extinct woolly mammoth. He was also once working on cloning organs for humans who need transplants to live.

We suggest no jail time for Hwang. Instead, put him back to work doing good science.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Obama is an Enemy of Science and of Human Cloning

A Fox News report quotes President Obama as saying:

"We cannot ever tolerate misuse or abuse. And we will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction," Obama said. "It is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society."

Unfortunately, Obama is totally wrong. I predict that in 50 or 100 years human cloning technology will be used to save lives on an almost routine basis.

Sadly, the entire biotech industry, with all it patents and trademarks, will move overseas to where human cloning is legal. Patients from the USA will all be practicing medical tourism to go save their lives in Asia or Thailand or India or somewhere where science is more important than political polls.

Obama's wrongheaded attitude will delay the cure for infertility, and will make people on waiting lists for kidneys, livers, and hearts, continue to suffer and likely die, when lifesaving technology could be available.

Blogger is in Favor of Human Cloning

"I am also in favour of human cloning. I am well aware of the risks and dangers involved in it. People are afraid that this knowledge may be used for the benefit of the rich and the affluent only because it is so costly. They also say that it would be sheer madness for man to try to play God and change the genetic code as he pleases. But the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Would you banish fire because it may burn your houses to ashes?" - Haramol

Friday, October 16, 2009

Food from Animal Cloning is Safe

FDA website says:

"Based on a final risk assessment, a report written by FDA scientists and issued in January 2008, FDA has concluded that meat and milk from cow, pig, and goat clones and the offspring of any animal clones are as safe as food we eat every day."

Extinct Animal has been cloned

National Geographic reported that an extinct animal was cloned and the findings were reported in 2009 in the journal Theriogenology.

Reportedly, the clone was born alive but died soon after birth.

The scientists cloned a bucardo, or Pyrenean ibex, which went extinct in 2000. The scientists had apparently stored tissue from the species before it went extinct.

The story appeared on the Internet here:

The scientists feel that with more research into animal cloning they will be able to successfully clone this extinct species with time.

This is good news for genetic diversity and good news for the future of human cloning as well.

The more research that is done, the sooner the obstacles to human cloning will be resolved. One day, using human cloning technology, livers, kidneys, and hearts will be created in the laboratory to save lives without the fear of rejection of foreign DNA which happens now.

Cloning Sperm for Infertility

A breakthrough has been reported in cloning sperm.

"SINGAPORE scientists have developed a way to create sperm-like stem cells from fish, which they used to fertilise a fish egg to produce a healthy offspring.

The offspring, which they have named Holly, is the world's first semi-cloned animal.

This breakthrough could potentially be used to treat infertility in humans, spelling hope for couples who have trouble conceiving."

This if from an article by Dawn Tay in Asia One News.

This exciting new research could be the cure for infertility that millions of couples have been seeking for so long.

It's all thanks to human cloning technology.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Diana DeGette is an enemy of human cloning and better medical care for all

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) soon will introduce the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2009, which is rumored to continue to outlaw human cloning.

This will once again set back important medical research that could save lives and decrease suffering.

Friday, October 9, 2009

European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights Bans Human Cloning

We appeal to Czech President Vaclav Klaus not to accept the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights because it bans human cloning.

A recent story appeared here:

People die every day for want of liver, kidney, heart or other organ transplant and yet the European Union has banned human cloning which is the first step to making these needed organs and saving lives. Cloning is also a cure for infertility.
In the document above you can find the prohibition on human cloning where it says that there is a prohibition of the reproductive cloning of human beings.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sadly, Russia Extends Ban on Human Cloning

Regrettably, it has been reported that Russia has extended it's ban on human cloning for 5 years.

Russia, like other countries, will no fall behind in human cloning technology and miss out as other countries proceed with human cloning and garner important biotechnology patents.

In February 19, 2005, it was reported that the United Nations called on UN Member States to prohibit human cloning.

Meanwhile, animal cloning has become a very lucrative business for those who proceeded full force ahead with cloning technology.

In the United States, it has been reported that 18 people die per day for an organ, which is needless, because organs could be cloned and grown in a laboratory.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pat Marsh Supports Human Cloning?

A Nashville web site reports that "Republican Pat Marsh’s survey responses ... included support for human cloning and ... embryo stem cell research."

If true, we support Pat Marsh's concern for sick and dying people who need human cloning technology to live.

We expect that 18 people will die today for want of a kidney, liver, heart, or other organ, when such organs could be grown in the laboratory using human cloning technology.

50,000 people are said to be on organ waiting lists each year.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Embryonic Stem Cells on the way to curing blindness

ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2009) — A new study reports that transplanted pigment-containing visual cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) successfully preserved structure and function of the specialized light-sensitive lining of the eye (known as the retina) in an animal model of retinal degeneration.

Using human cloning technology and embryonic stem cells could cure your blindness in the future.

A Young Woman Would Clone Her Deceased Husband

A woman admits that she would clone her deceased husband if she could.

The essay she wrote is here:

The author is a young widow, whose husband died after only six months of marriage from a car crash. More about her story can be read here:

Human cloning technology and stem cell research will eventually cure many diseases and prolong life for all of us.

Human Cloning Questions from a website visitor

I would like to know if you could possibly answer the following questions.

1. What are the benefits of human reproductive cloning?

2. Do you agree that attempting to clone a human at the present time would be a responsible decision? If you disagree, can you please state the necessary steps to be done before it would be responsible to clone a human?

3. If the United States federal government were to lift its ban on funding human reproductive cloning, what regulations do you think must be set?

4. In the past years, there have been many claims that a human being was already cloned, but it seems that there is no concrete scientific evidence to validate such claims. When do you think human cloning will be successfully done in an experiment? In commercial terms?

5. Many critics of human cloning say that if human cloning was ever allowed, it would change the fundamentals of society and family dynamics. For example, when an adult creates a clone of himself or herself, is his or her clone be considered a child, or a sibling? How do you think societies and families will adapt to such dramatic change?

6. Human cloning is a widespread topic in mass media today, and more often than not it depicts cloning as an evil technology. Of course, the public believes these fictional potrayals of cloning. How would you change the public's perceptions on cloning?

Reposted with permission.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cloning May Help US to Understand Miscarriages

"Cloning might produce a greater understanding of the cause of miscarriages, which might lead to a treatment to prevent spontaneous abortions. This would help women who can't bring a fetus to term. It might lead to an understanding of the way a morula (mass of cells developed from a blastula) attaches itself to the uterine wall. This might generate new and successful contraceptives." -

This is another reason to support human cloning.

Hug a Human Clone Today

Instapundit says:

"Human clones, it is widely assumed, would be monstrous perversions of nature. Yet chances are, you already know one. Indeed, you may know several and even have dated a clone. They walk among us in the form of identical twins: people who share exact sets of DNA. Such twins almost always look alike and often have similar quirks. But their minds, experiences, and personalities are different, and no one supposes they are less than fully human. And if identical twins are fully human, wouldn’t cloned people be as well?"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009



National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., announces that NIH is now accepting requests for human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines to be approved for use in NIH-funded research. The NIH Director is also pleased to announce the members of a new working group of the Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD): the Working Group for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Eligibility Review.

NIH will today begin accepting requests for hESCs to be approved for use in NIH-funded research. Information may be submitted through NIH Form 2890, which is available at <>. Today it becomes an interactive Web form allowing the submission of information online.

In announcing the members of the Working Group, Dr. Collins said, "I appreciate the willingness of these individuals to assist NIH in supporting responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, as encouraged by the President's Executive Order. Their expertise and sound judgment will help NIH move forward in this important effort."

Jeffrey R. Botkin, M.D., M.P.H., will serve as the working group's chairman. Dr. Botkin is a professor of pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, and adjunct professor of medicine, Department of Internal Medicine-Division of Medical Ethics, at University of Utah's School of Medicine. He is also the associate vice president for research integrity at the University of Utah. Dr. Botkin has recently served on the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Human Research Protection.

The other members of the Working Group are:

 -- Dena S. Davis, J.D., Ph.D., professor of law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University, Ohio

 -- Pamela B. Davis, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio

 -- David A. Grainger, M.D., M.P.H., director, Center for Reproductive Medicine; associate dean for research; professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; director, director, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology; University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita

 -- Richard P. Lifton, M.D., Ph.D., chair, Department of Genetics; professor of genetics, medicine and molecular biophysics and biochemistry; investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale School of Medicine, Conn.

 -- Bernard Lo, M.D., professor of medicine; director, Program in Medical Ethics; Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

 -- Terry Magnuson, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Genetics of the School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 -- Jeffrey C. Murray, M.D., professor of neonatology and genetics; professor of biological sciences, dentistry, and epidemiology in the College of Public Health; Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa Children's Hospital;

 -- Carlos Pavão, M.P.A., training and technical specialist, Education Development Center. Inc., Atlanta, Ga.; member, NIH Director's Council of Public Representatives

On March 9, 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13505: Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells. The Executive Order states that the Secretary of Health and Human Services, through the Director of NIH, may support and conduct responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell research, to the extent permitted by law.

The NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research were published on July 7, 2009, and are available at <>. The Guidelines implement the Executive Order, as it pertains to extramural NIH-funded stem cell research, establish policy and procedures under which the NIH will fund such research, and help ensure that NIH-funded research in this area is ethically responsible, scientifically worthy, and conducted in accordance with applicable law. In addition, on July 30, 2009, the President directed all Federal departments and agencies that support and conduct stem cell research to adopt the Guidelines. For hESCs derived from embryos donated in the United States on or after the effective date of the Guidelines (July 7, 2009), specific provisions regarding the embryo donation and informed consent process apply and are detailed in Section II (A) of the Guidelines.

As described in the Guidelines, the Working Group will consider two other categories of hESCs and make recommendations to the ACD regarding their eligibility for use in NIH-funded research.

After considering the analysis done by the Working Group, the ACD will make recommendations to the NIH Director regarding the eligibility of particular hESCs for use in NIH-funded research. The NIH Director will make the final decisions regarding the eligibility of the hESCs and list those deemed eligible on the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry. Once an hESC line is listed on the Registry, there is no need for further submissions requesting review of that particular line.

The Office of the Director, the central office at NIH, is responsible for setting policy for NIH, which includes 27 Institutes and Centers. This involves planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all NIH components. The Office of the Director also includes program offices which are responsible for stimulating specific areas of research throughout NIH. Additional information is available at <>.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) - The Nation's Medical Research Agency - includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs,>.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
NIH Office of the Director (OD)
For Immediate Release: Monday, September 21, 2009

Contact: Jenny Haliski,OD Office of Communications and Public Liaison,

Monday, September 21, 2009

Diabetes Cure may be on the way using Human Cloning & Stem Cells

Diabetes may soon be able to be cured thanks to human cloning technology and stem cell research. The following is a quote from a website story by and below that is the abstract of the oringinal scientific article. - Simon Smith

"By reprogramming skin cells from people with type 1 diabetes, scientists have produced beta cells that secrete insulin response to changes in glucose levels. Dr. Douglas Melton and his colleagues at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute started by using the skin cells to generate induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Once they had iPS cells, the researchers manipulated them into developing into pancreatic islet (beta) cells."  -

Generation of pluripotent stem cells from patients with type 1 diabetes

  1. René Maehra,
  2. Shuibing Chena,
  3. Melinda Snitowa,
  4. Thomas Ludwigb,
  5. Lisa Yagasakia,
  6. Robin Golandc,
  7. Rudolph L. Leibelc and
  8. Douglas A. Meltona,1
+ Author Affiliations
  1. aDepartment of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Harvard University, 7 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138; and
  2. bDepartment of Pathology and Cell Biology, and
  3. cDivision of Molecular Genetics and Naomi Barrie Diabetes Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032
  1. Contributed by Douglas A. Melton, July 8, 2009 (received for review May 18, 2009)


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is the result of an autoimmune destruction of pancreatic β cells. The cellular and molecular defects that cause the disease remain unknown. Pluripotent cells generated from patients with T1D would be useful for disease modeling. We show here that induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells can be generated from patients with T1D by reprogramming their adult fibroblasts with three transcription factors (OCT4, SOX2, KLF4). T1D-specific iPS cells, termed DiPS cells, have the hallmarks of pluripotency and can be differentiated into insulin-producing cells. These results are a step toward using DiPS cells in T1D disease modeling, as well as for cell replacement therapy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

President Obama must support Human Cloning

President Obama's new regulatory Czar, Cass Sunstein, supports human cloning according to published newspaper reports.

It follows that President Obama may be enlightened as well.

"Sperm cells have 'potential' and (not to put too fine a point on it) most people are not especially solicitous about them," Sunstein wrote in a review of the 2003 book "Our Posthuman Future" by Francis Fukuyama.- according to several websites who posted or reposted the story.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ethiopian Review Makes the Case for Human Cloning

"Human cloning is currently outlawed in nu­merous countries, but scientists have successfully produced genetic copies of various animals and could hypothetically perform the same procedure with human genetic material.

"Forget the movie images of full-grown zombie men emerging from stainless steel vats of embryonic fluid. These human clones would be normal infants, each brought to term by a human mother. The only difference is that the reproduction is asexual instead of sexual." -

Clones of Jesus May be in New Book

"Dan "DaVinci Code" Brown's latest Christian-themed thriller, The Lost Symbol, is about to drop next week. And Washington, D.C., is bracing itself: The city is featured heavily in the novel, which one Brown expert says may involve clones of Jesus." -

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

18 People Died Today

CBS Evening News with Katie Couric said today, September 9th, 2009 that over 100,000 people are on a waiting list for an organ transplant and that 18 people die each day for want of an organ.

Let's stop these unnecessary deaths with human cloning technology and stem cell research.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Cloning an Esophagus

What does someone do if their esophagus needs to be removed?
You do not hear much about esophageal transplants, because instead, surgeons usually replace a diseased esophagus with a piece of colon. This of course, raises all kinds of issues.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Top Ten Myths about Human Cloning

The Top Ten Myths about Human Cloning by Gregory E. Pence

1. Cloning Xeroxes a person.
Cloning merely re-creates the genes of the ancestor, not what he has learned or experienced. Technically, it re-creates the genotype, not the phenotype. (Even at that, only 99% of those genes get re-created because 1% of such a child's genes would come from those in the egg - mitochondrial DNA). Conventional wisdom holds that about half of who we are comes from our genes, the other half, from the environment.

Cloning cannot re-create what in us came from the environment; it also cannot re-create memories. The false belief that cloning recreates a person stems in part from the common, current false belief in simplistic, genetic reductionism, i. e., that a person really is just determined by his genes. No reputable geneticist or psychologist believes this.

2. Human cloning is replication or making children into commodities.
Opponents of cloning often use these words to beg the question, to assume that children created by parents by a new method would not be loved. Similar things were said about "test tube" babies, who turned out to be some of the most-wanted, most-loved babies ever created in human history.

Indeed, the opposite is true: evolution has created us with sex drives such that, if we do not carefully use contraception, children occur. Because children get created this way without being wanted, sexual reproduction is more likely to create unwanted, and hence possibly unloved, children than human cloning.

Lawyers opposing cloning have a special reason for using these pejorative words. If cloning is just a new form of human reproduction, then it is Constitutionally protected from interference by the state. Several Supreme Court decisions declare that all forms of human reproduction, including the right not to reproduce, cannot be abridged by government.

Use of words such as "replication" and "commodification" also assumes artificial wombs or commercial motives; about these fallacies, see below.

3. Human cloning reduces biological diversity.
Population genetics says otherwise. Six billion people now exist, soon to be eight billion, and most of them reproduce. Cloning requires in vitro fertilization, which is expensive and inefficient, with only a 20% success rate. Since 1978, at most a half million babies have been produced this way, or at most, one out of 12,000 babies.

Over decades and with such great numbers, populations follow the Law of Regression to the Mean. This means that, even if someone tried to create a superior race by cloning, it would fail, because cloned people would have children with non-cloned people, and resulting genetic hybrids would soon be normalized.

Cloning is simply a tool. It could be used with the motive of creating uniformity (but would fail, because of above), or it be used for the opposite reason, to try to increase diversity (which would also fail, for the same reason).

4. People created by cloning would be less ensouled than normal humans, or would be sub-human.
A human who had the same number of chromosomes as a child created sexually, who was gestated by a woman, and who talked, felt, and spoke as any other human, would ethically be human and a person. It is by now a principle of ethics that the origins of a person, be it from mixed-race parents, unmarried parents, in vitro fertilization, or a gay male couple hiring a surrogate mother, do not affect the personhood of the child born. The same would be true of a child created by cloning (who, of course, has to be gestated for nine months by a woman).

Every deviation from normal reproduction has always been faced with this fear. Children greeted by sperm donation, in vitro fertilization, and surrogate motherhood were predicted to be less-than-human, but were not.

A variation predicts that while, in fact, they will not be less-than-human, people will treat them this way and hence, such children will harmed. This objection reifies prejudice and makes it an ethical justification, which it is wrong to do. The correct response to prejudice is to expose it for what it is, combat it with reason and with evidence, not validate it as an ethical reason.

5. People created by cloning could be used for spare organs for normal humans.
Nothing could be done to a person created by cloning that right now could not be done to your brother or to a person's twin. The U. S. Constitution strongly implies that once a human fetus is outside the womb and alive, he has rights. Decisions backing this up give him rights to inherit property, rights not to suffer discrimination because of disability, and rights to U. S. citizenship.

A variation of this myth assumes that a dictator could make cloned humans into special SWAT teams or suicidal bombers. But nothing about originating people this way gives anyone any special power over the resulting humans, who would have free will. Besides, if a dictator wants to create such assassins, he need not wait for cloning but can take orphans and try to indoctrinate them now in isolated camps.

6. All people created from the same genotype would be raised in batches and share secret empathy or communication.
Pure science fiction. If I wanted to recreate the genotype of my funny Uncle Harry, why would my wife want to gestate 5 or 6 other babies at the same time? Indeed, we now know that the womb cannot support more than 2-3 fetuses without creating a likely disability in one. Guidelines now call for no more than two embryos to be introduced by in vitro fertilization, which of course is required to use cloning.

Such assumptions about cloned humans being created in batches are linked to nightmarish science fiction scenarios where humane society has been destroyed and where industrialized machines have taken over human reproduction. But this is just someone's nightmare, not facts upon which to base state and federal laws.

7. Scientists who work on human cloning are evil or motivated by bad motives.
The stuff of Hollywood and scary writers. Scientists are just people. Most of them have kids of their own and care a lot for kids. No one wants to bring a handicapped child into the world. Movies and novels never portray life scientists with sympathy. This anti-science prejudice started with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and continues with nefarious scientists working for the Government on The X Files.

People who call themselves scientists and grandstand for television, such as Richard Seed and Brigette Boisselier of the Raelians, are not real scientists but people who use the aura of science to gain attention. Real scientists don't spend all their time flying around the world to be on TV but stay at home in their clinics doing their work.

8. Babies created by cloning could be grown in artificial wombs.
Nope, sorry. Medicine has been trying for fifty years to create an artificial womb, but has never come close to succeeding. Indeed, controversial experiments in 1973 on live-born fetuses in studying artificial wombs effectively shut down such research.

Finally, if anything like such wombs existed, we could save premature babies who haven't developed lung function, but unfortunately, we still can't - premature babies who can't breathe at all die. Thus, any human baby still needs a human woman to gestate him for at least six months, and to be healthy, nine months. This puts the lie to many science fiction stories and to many predictions about cloning and industrial reproduction.

9. Only selfish people want to create a child by cloning.
First, this assumes that ordinary people don't create children for selfish reasons, such as a desire to have someone take care of them in old age, a desire to see part of themselves continue after death, and/or the desire to leave their estate to someone. Many people are hypocritical or deceived about why they came to have children. Very few people just decide that they want to bring more joy into the world, and hence create a child to raise and support for life as an end-in-himself. Let's be honest here. Second, a couple using cloning need not create a copy of one of them. As said above, Uncle Harry could be a prime candidate.

On the other hand, if a couple chooses a famous person, critics accuse them of creating designer babies. Either way, they can't win: if they re-create one of their genotypes, they are narcissistic; if they choose someone else's genes, they're guilty of creating designer babies.

In general, why should a couple using cloning have a higher justification required of them than a couple using sexual reproduction? If we ask: what counts as a good reason for creating a child, then why should cloning have any special test that is not required for sexual reproduction? Indeed, and more generally, what right does government have to require, or judge, any couple's reasons for having a child, even if they are seen by others to be selfish?

Couples desiring to use cloning should not bear an undue burden of justification.

10. Human cloning is inherently evil: it can only be used for bad purposes by bad people.
No, it's just a tool, just another way to create a family. A long legacy in science fiction novels and movies make the word "cloning" so fraught with bad connotations that it can hardly be used in any discussion that purports to be impartial. It is like discussing equal rights for women by starting to discuss whether "the chicks" would fare better with equal rights. To most people, "cloning" implies selfish parents, crazy scientists, and out-of- control technology, so a fair discussion using this word isn't possible. Perhaps the phrase, "somatic cell nuclear transplantation" is better, even if it's a scientific mouthful. So if we shouldn't call a person created by cloning, a "clone," what should we call him? Answer: a person.

Copyrighted Gregory E. Pence, 2001.
Professor, Dept. of Philosophy & School of Medicine
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Author, Who's Afraid of Human Cloning?
Reprinted here with permission.

Human Cloning terminology

ESCR stand for embryonic stem cell research.

SCNT stands for somatic-cell nuclear transfer.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Human Cloning Foundation

The Human Cloning Foundation started blogging on blogger today, July 18, 2009.

Dolly, the first cloned mammal was born on July 5th, 1996.

It has been 13 years.

Not enough progress has been made in human cloning technology or with stem cell research.

People are still getting sick and dying of diseases that modern science should be able to solve. The Human Cloning Foundation is rededicating itself to helping end the suffering.

Dolly was cloned by Ian Wilmut and other Scottish scientists.

Modified version of Commons image :en:Category...Image via Wikipedia

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]