Response to Primate Clones Alarming
On November 14, 2007, the online version of the journal Nature featured an article by Oregon researchers lead by Shoukhrat Mitalipov at the Oregon National Primate Research Center and the Oregon Stem Cell Center, Oregon Health and Science University, describing how they were able to clone embryos from adult macaque monkeys using a new technique that prevents damage to the eggs during handling.
What was alarming to me, were the responses of several leading scientists, as quoted in a report describing the work in The Independent online edition. The scientists are quoted as saying that the "marvellous work….should provide the basis for attempts at cloning human embryos" and that the work is significant because it suggests that cloning in primates and humans may not be as difficult as previously thought. I wonder though: Should we even dare to discuss that possibility? I thought that at least nearly everyone agreed that the cloning of human embryos was a taboo subject, and it alarms me to hear that there might stsill be a significant number of people who think it's an endeavour we should pursue.
Read the article: "Producing primate embryonic stem cells by somatic cell nuclear transfer".
Coverage in The Independent: "UK experts hail cloning breakthrough".
Tell us what you think: