Human Cloning

Human cloning often refers to human reproductive cloning to produce a genetic copy of an existing person. Despite decades of speculation, there has been no human reproductive cloning. Research cloning, also known as embryo cloning or therapeutic cloning, is another form of human cloning that produces genetically specific embryonic stem cells. After a series of failures and high-profile false claims of success, the first report of stem cells created from cloned human embryos was published in 2013.

Some of the major concerns surrounding raised by research cloning are the risks it poses to the women who would be needed to provide the large numbers of eggs required; exaggerated and probably unrealistic claims of "personalized" therapies; and the need for effective oversight to prevent rogue efforts to use cloned embryos for reproductive human cloning.

Human reproductive cloning is widely opposed. Overwhelming majorities, typically of 80% to 90%,have consistently rejected it in opinion surveys for over 20 years.  While the U.S. has no federal law on human reproductive cloning, a number of states, dozens of other countries, and several international agreements formally prohibit it. Many scientists believe that human reproductive cloning can never be made safe. It would also threaten the psychological well-being of cloned children, and could open the door to more powerful inheritable genetic manipulation technologies.

Biopolitical Times

With research involving gene editing of embryos now officially underway in the US, and the apparent ability to genetically alter humans this brings, more people are considering the desired paths forward. How far is too far? Who will have the power to decide? How much control should corporations have over people’s bodies? The Netflix TV drama Orphan Black, whose protagonists are a set of clones on the run, is a dystopian view into the possibilities of this technology in...

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