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.