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Cloning is Inevitable becasue of Technology

Cloning is Inevitable becasue of Technology

Dr. Severino Antinori, who gained notoriety after helping a 62-year old woman to bear a child is collaborating with fertility specialist Panos Zavos to offer desperate infertile couples a chance to conceive a child via cloning. Both researchers plan to describe their work at a conference of the National Academy of Science.

Italian medical authorities strongly oppose Antinori's stated plans and are threatening to yank his medical license. He and his associates may also find themselves on the wrong side of the law in the US. The House of Representatives has passed legislation to ban human cloning and the Senate will now consider the issue.

Antinori and Zavos claim to have developed a new technique to clone a human embyro. While techniques have been developed for cloning sheep, mice, cattle and even monkeys, there is no publication in the scientific literature where a method for cloning humans is described. There is, however, a published body of research detailing problems with animals created using the cloning process. These problems include miscarriage, abnormal growth, anatomic abnormalities and premature death. The cloning process is laborious and expensive, producing far more failures than successes. In the case of Dolly, it took nearly 300 attempts before success was achieved.

Further out on the fringe, a group called Clonaid claims to have established a human cloning laboratory somewhere beyond the border of the US. Clonaid is an offshoot of the Raelian religion, whose followers believe that life on Earth was planted by UFOs. That company also offers, for a significant fee, to save cells of loved ones (and pets) for future cloning.

The proposals to attempt human cloning have chilling implications for human research. First of all, there would be significant concerns for the health of the cloned baby. Second, biologists could only guess what sort of problems the clone would develop later in life. Finally, there is the additional concern that the clone would pass along potentially serious traits to his or her own offspring. This latter case would assume that the cloned person was fertile, by no means a sure thing.

If they haven't already done so, it is only a matter of time before researchers adapt the method used to clone Dolly, the sheep that became the first vertebrate animal cloned from a cell derived from an adult animal donor....

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