Human Embryo Cloning

Jim Cummins cummins at
Mon Jan 17 19:54:25 EST 1994

In article <940116193009113 at>
bryan.ness at (Bryan Ness) writes:

> These are just a few of the ethical dilemmas that come
> to mind.  If you have any others feel free to bring them
> up as well.  I would encourage discussion from other
> biology students as well as researchers in the field.
The so-called "cloning" was, of course embryo splitting or twinning: a
commonplace activity in animal breeding these days.  It's a long way
from true cloning, that would involve taking a somatic cell nucleus
from an adult and producing a new individual based onthat genome. 

Other issues that are "hot" today are the following:

Producing children in post-menopausal women by oocyte donation - as for
example the recent cases in Italy of women in their late 50s and early
60s.  Is this outside the "natuiral order" and is it in the child's
best interest to be faced with adolescence with a mother in the 70s and
80s (assuming she lives that long)

Achieving pregnany for men with very severe semen defects by direct
intracytoplasmic sperm injection.  In suhc cases all "natural"
selective barriers to sperm entry are by-passed.   This is a bit of a
worry: inthe majority of cases of male infertility there is no known
cause, and yet there are clear links in some cases to genetic defects
such as cystic fibrosis.  Are the sons of these men likely to be
infertile, and if so do clinicians have the "right" to perpetuate this

Jim Cummins                   
School of Veterinary Studies
Murdoch University
Western Australia 6150  Tel +61-9-360 2668 Fax +61-9-310 4144
"An inordinate fondness for Beetles"

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