human cloning

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The at-present hypothetical, but ethically charged production of a de novo human from the DNA of one person without the genetic contribution from a second human. It should be noted that identical twins are a natural example of cloning that doesn’t engender the polarising polemic of unnatural cloning, the latter of which many view as playing God. The implications and ethical dilemmas that might result from having a ‘copy’ of a particular individual are considerable, which prompted Congress (the Ehlers bill) and the Senate (the Bond-Frist bill) to create legislation that would prevent same; some scientists have noted the potential usefulness of human cloning, in particular, for growing tissues—e.g., stem cells, pancreatic tissue, epithelial cells, et al—to treat diabetes, leukemia, burns, etc. Human cloning could also potentially allow donor tissues from a person’s own DNA, obviating tissue incompatibility

human cloning

The production of a person genetically identical to another person by the insertion of a genome from a somatic cell into an ovum from which the DNA has been removed (somatic cell nuclear transfer). Human cloning is currently almost universally proscribed. At the present time it is also scientifically unfeasible. Because nuclear cloning bypasses the normal processes of gametogenesis and fertilization, it prevents the reprogramming of the clone's genome necessary for the development of an embryo into a normal human being. There is evidence that surviving cloned animals have serious abnormalities of gene expression.
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