From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life
The Independent newspaper (London) ran a disturbing story yesterday about the scientific â€œprogressâ€ being made in cloning techniques.
A new procedure has been developed by Dr. Robert Lanza of the American-based Advanced Cell Technology which makes the successful cloning of humans easier and more likely. The technique re-programs skin cells into a pre-embryonic state; this was the process used in the dramatic breakthrough announced last year in which embryonic stem cells were manufactured without the destruction of a human embryo.
One scientist is quoted by the Independent as arguing that this development means we almost certainly have the scientific methodology to produce a human child.
Dr. Lanza himself expresses ethical concerns:
â€œIt raises the same issues as reproductive cloning â€¦ whereby anyone, young or old, fertile or infertile, straight or gay can pass on their genes to a child by using just a few skin cells.â€
Recent experiments on mice have produced offspring 100% genetically identical to the donor.
Dr. Lanza went on to observe that those mouse experiments demonstrate how easily the technology could be applied to produce or chimera babies. Such cloning techniques are not illegal in many places because the law has not kept pace with scientific developments.
We may need to bring this whole matter to the attention of the Idaho Legislature in the near future, as well as members of Idahoâ€™s congressional delegation.
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