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Bioethics: To Clone or Not to Clone?

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Taylor St. Germain

on 29 May 2014

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Transcript of Bioethics: To Clone or Not to Clone?

Remove DNA from unfertilized egg
Place it in nucleus containing DNA for cloning
Artificial Gametes
Develop gametes from stem cells
Can be made from embryonic or adult stem cells
Designer Recombinase
Molecules that can break and reassemble DNA strands
Nuclear Transfer
Types of Cloning
- the procedure of creating a new multicellular organism, genetically identical to another
Religious Views
Medical Benefits
able to create organs without using an entire human body
Techniques of Cloning
Laws and Legality
Ethics of Cloning
Bioethics: To Clone or Not to Clone?
Gillian Henry (Biologist), Ben Manclark (Lawyer), and Taylor St. Germain (Ethicist)
Clone : production of genetically identical organisms via somatic cell nuclear transfer
Cloning is highly debated in bioethics for its legality, biological effects, and religious outlooks.
On July 5, 1996, Dolly the sheep was the first mammal to be cloned successfully.
compromises the individuality of a person
Case Study
renew activity of damaged cells by growing new cells for repair
can further our knowledge and study of cell differentiation
grow human stems cells to cure Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, degenerative joint disease, etc.
loss of genetic variation in the gene pool
could create a black market of fetuses
technology is not well developed leading to a low fertility rate (like Dolly)
could possibly be treated as second-class citizens for labor or testing
psychological impacts from familial relations and society
Boston Cardinal Sean O'Mally "[cloning] treats human beings as products, manufactured to order to suit other people's wishes"
Catholic bioethicists are against the destruction of any human embryo
no clear consensus on cloning in the Jewish law
However, in the Torah it states "honor your mother and father" but it is impossible to define both with cloning
The Jewish religion says that God created the world so that man and woman unite to "be fruitful and multiply"
Religious Views
Gabe was born to parents Melanie and George on July 29, 1998
When they brought him home he began to seize so they brought him back to the hospital and he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia
They went to Dr. Childs who decided to take stem cells from Gabe that could then be turned back to a zygote. (AKA clone Gabe)
Cloning humans is illegal and a federal investigation began
The procedure had already begun and baby Gabe died one month later
Dr. Childs fled and remains missing
1. Should cloning be legal if it is the last chance for survival of an organism? Why or why not?
2. In the past, techniques that were considered unethical are now common practices. Discuss how you believe people's view of cloning techniques will change in the future.
3. Should politics be involved in science? Should the government be allowed to interfere with scientific discoveries? Explain your opinion.
Our group found that reproductive cloning is not ethical because of the dire consequences. The scientific and medical benefits are convincing, but the overall social and psychological ramifications outweigh the positive aspects. Therapeutic cloning on the other hand has no ethical dilemmas and can provide invaluabe treatment for patients. It may also open up the field of prolonging human life.
Animal cloning under the jurisdiction of the FDA
No federal laws in US which ban cloning completely
13 state ban reproductive cloning (cloning an existing organism)
3 states ban the use of public friends for therapeutic and reproductive cloning
Brownlee, Christen. "PNAS Classics -- Nuclear Transfer."
PNAS Classics -- Nuclear Transfer.
Web. 21 May 2014. <http://www.pnas.org/site/classics/classics4.xhtml>.
Hau, Jeremy. "Could the Human Clones of 'Cloud Atlas' Be in Our Future?"
. 26 Oct. 2012. Web. 21 May 2014. <http://www.technewsdaily.com/8402-human-clones-cloud-atlas.html>.
Farnsworth, Joseph. "To Clone or Not to Clone: The Ethical Question."
To Clone or Not to Clone: The Ethical Question
. 5 Dec. 2001. Web. 21 May 2014. <http://www.thefarnsworths.com/science/cloning.htm>.
"Cloning Fact Sheet."
Cloning Fact Sheet
. National Human Genome Research Institute, 28 Apr. 2014. Web. 17 May 2014. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ncsl.org%2Fresearch%2Fhealth%2Fhuman-cloning-laws.aspx>.
"Human Cloning Laws."
Human Cloning Laws
. NCSL, Jan. 2008. Web. 20 May 2014. <http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/human-cloning-laws.aspx>.
"Result Filters."
National Center for Biotechnology Information
. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 3 Oct. 2003. Web. 22 May 2014. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20704858>.
Newson, A. J., and A. C. Smajdor. "Artificial Gametes: New Paths to Parenthood?" --
Newson and Smajdor 31
(3): 184. N.p., 23 May 2003. Web. 22 May 2014. <http://jme.bmj.com/content/31/3/184.full>.
"To Clone or Not to Clone: The Ethical Question." The Farnsworth. Ed. Joseph Farnsworth. N.p., 5 Dec. 2001. Web. 15 May 2014. <thefarnsworths.com/science/cloning.htm>.
Barooah, Jahnabi. "Human Cloning Breakthrough Prompts Religious Objections." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 15 May 2013. Web. 18 May 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/15/human-cloning-breakthrough-prompts-religious-objections_n_3282367.html>.
Eisenburg, Daniel, M.D. "The Ethics of Cloning." The Ethics of Cloning. N.p., 2014. Web. 22 May 2014. <http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/clone.html>.
Kendal, Susan K. "Cloning Webliography." Cloning Webliography. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2014. <http://staff.lib.msu.edu/skendall/cloning/index.htm>
California: Prohibits Reproductive Cloning
Allows cloning for research

Case Study Results
cloning cells from a human for use in medicine and transplants
George and Melanie were the first case to be tried for human cloning
They are being charged $250,000 in fines
There is a possibility of them serving up to 10 years in prison
It is up to the jury to determine the couples' punishment
George and Melanie are arguing that they were not in sound mind after their child's diagnoses
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