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REPRODUCTIVE CLONING:

Developments during 2001.

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Sponsored link.


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Note:

The following news items relate to reproductive cloning: the creation of a newborn human or other animal who is an exact duplication of an existing person. They do not describe therapeutic cloning: the creation of pre-embryos in order to extract their stem cells and create a human organ.

See another essay for information on U.S. legislation at the Federal and State levels which have attempted to regulate human therapeutic and reproductive cloning.

News items on therapeutic (a.k.a. research) cloning is described elsewhere.

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News items during 2001:

bullet2001-MAR-29: USA: Reproductive cloning unethical: Scientists told a congressional panel that reproductive cloning experiments are ethically treacherous and likely to produce deformed babies. Rep. James Greenwood (R-PA) chairman of the House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee said: "We're dealing with the most profound of human responsibilities - the future of our species." FDA representatives said that cloning experiments in the U.S. would require prior approval from them, and that they would not issue applications at this time. 1
bullet2001-MAY-10: Australia: First cloned pig in Australia produced: An Australian biotech company, BresaGen Limited, in association with the Immunology Research Center at St. Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne, announced that they had produced the first cloned pig. It was five weeks old at the time of the announcement, has been weaned and is healthy. 2
bullet2001-JUN-20: UK: Scientists call for international ban on human reproductive cloning: The Royal Society in London released a report which calls on all national governments to ban reproductive cloning of humans. The UK banned such cloning earlier in 2001. Professor Richard Gardner chaired the committee who prepared the report. He said: "Our experience with animals suggests that there would be a very real danger of creating seriously handicapped individuals if anybody tries to implant cloned human embryos into the womb.'' 3
bullet2001-JUN-8: Australia: Nine governments (six states, two territories and one national) in Australia reached a consensus on uniform legislation to ban human reproductive cloning. Prime Minister John Howard said at a news conference: "The states, everybody has committed themselves to having uniform legislation banning cloning. That is a major advance.'' Additional discussions will be undertaken to develop a uniform approach to therapeutic cloning. Howard said:  "You have to try to strike a balance between the legitimate ethical concerns people have, particularly in relation to the destruction of embryos, and the desire to gather and harness all the benefits available from medical science of these advances.'' 4
bullet2001-AUG-1: Canada: Proposal to ban reproductive cloning: The Canadian government is proposing that reproductive cloning be crimnialized, while stem cell research and therapeutic cloning continue. Catherine Lappe, spokeswoman for Health Minister Allan Rock, said: "We've put forward what we think is the appropriate balance, on the one hand allowing for regulated stem cell research but on the other hand not allowing for the cloning of embryos." Research will be permitted on embryos which are less than 14 days from conception, but only spare embryos from fertility clinics will be usable. Embryos will not be allowed to be created specifically for research. The proposed legislation will allow the creation of mixed species embryos, through the adding of non-human cells to existing human embryos. But they will have to be destroyed within 14 days. 5
bullet2001-AUG-13: China: Giant Panda cloning project underway: A laboratory in Beijing is studying cloning as a way to speed up breeding of giant pandas. "The 2-year-old project run by the official Chinese Academy of Sciences refused visits by reporters. But administrator Shen Chuangli said scientists there have succeeded in extracting DNA from a bear's egg and replacing it with that of a panda. The genetically altered ovum was then placed in a bear's womb but failed to grow. Shen said China is years away from producing a healthy panda clone. 'The current technology is far from mature,' he said." 6
bullet2001-OCT-28: USA: First reproductive cloning of primate achieved: Professor Don Wolf, of the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center, successfully cloned embryos using DNA from a rhesus monkey. He said: "We have been working with somatic cells and believe that success is just around the corner as the cloned embryos created from them are growing well in vitro." Because of the close genetic similarity between humans and rhesus monkeys, this achievement is the first major indicator that human reproduction cloning is possible. 7
bullet2001-NOV: Scotland: Anglican bishop supports human reproductive cloning: Richard Holloway, a former Bishop of Edinburgh and leader of the Scottish Episcopal Church, was a guest speaker at a meeting of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is reported as stating that he supports, in principle, the concept of human reproductive cloning in cases where the couple is infertile. However, he feels that the required scientific expertise does not exist to do it safely. He is quoted as saying: "Cloning of this sort does not produce copies of the same person - it produces unique individuals who have the same genotype. Clones of this sort are no more ethically problematic than identical twins....Left to the pure processes of nature, many of us would be dead by now. Indeed, it could be argued that it is our nature to re-order nature." 8

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More detailed and comprehensive media accounts on reproductive and therapeutic cloning are available at:

bulletBioExchange, at: http://www.bioexchange.com/ It "is a science network of specialized e-marketplaces, value-added information & resources, and industry-specific e-business services."
bulletAmericans to Ban Cloning, at: http://www.cloninginformation.org/ This group "promote a global, comprehensive ban on human [therapeutic and reproductive] cloning."

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References:

  1. Laura Meckler, "Bill Planned To Ban Human Cloning," Associated Press, 2001-MAR-29. Online at: http://www.bioexchange.com/
  2. "BresaGen Limited Clones Australia's First Pig; Pig Five Weeks Old and Healthy; Patent Application Filed For Cloning Technology," PRNewswire, 2001-MAY-10, at: http://www.bioexchange.com/
  3. "UK Scientists Urge Global Ban on Cloning," 2001-JUN-20, at: http://www.bioexchange.com/
  4. Andrea Hopkins, "Australia Agrees National Ban on Human Cloning," BioExchange, 2001-JUN-8, at: http://www.bioexchange.com/
  5. "Canada Asks Ban on Cloning, Not Stem Cell Research," Reuters, 2001-AUG-1, at: http://www.bioexchange.com/
  6. "China Looks at Technology for Panda," BioExchange, 2001-AUG-13, at: http://www.bioexchange.com/
  7. Stuart F. Hill, "Primate research brings human cloning one step closer," The Reproductive Cloning Network at: http://www.reproductivecloning.net/
  8. Stuart F. Hill, "Bishop Supports Human Cloning," The Reproductive Cloning Network at: http://www.reproductivecloning.net/

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Copyright 2001 to 2004 incl. by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Last updated 2004-FEB-1
6
Author: Bruce A Robinson

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