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Cloning Part II: Are Human's Next?

4-5-11

Cloning humans is idealized through media and films for years. Viewers are fascinated by the idea that we could generate another Albert Einstein or Mother Teresa. But is the possibility of cloning a human all its cracked up to be?

Movies and books portray human cloning as the successful creation of a specific person’s exact copy, but that scenario would be unlikely. If a human were successfully cloned, the clone would enter the world as a baby, not an adult. While the clone baby would carry the same genetic material as its prototype, they would grow up in a different environment than the original human, therefore producing an adult with different character traits. Specific experiences, education level, and temperament contribute greatly to individual personality.[1]

While animal cloning is successful, “only about 1 or 2 viable offspring for every 100 experiments” [2] survives. This marginal success rate causes many scientists to believe that human cloning is not worth the risk. In the rare chance that a cloned offspring develops, 30% of clones will have a genetic defect based on past experiments.

Laws banning human cloning reduce subject participation. As of January 2008, fifteen states had banned reproductive cloning (cloning to produce a pregnancy). Some states, such as Arizona and Missouri, prohibit the use of public funds for research on human cloning.[3]