Cover image for Scientific and medical aspects of human reproductive cloning
Scientific and medical aspects of human reproductive cloning
Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (U.S.)
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : National Academy Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xxi, 272 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


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RG133.5 .S385 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Human reproductive cloning is an assisted reproductive technology that would be carried out with the goal of creating a newborn genetically identical to another human being. It is currently the subject of much debate around the world, involving a variety of ethical, religious, societal, scientific, and medical issues. Scientific and Medical Aspects of Human Reproductive Cloning considers the scientific and medical sides of this issue, plus ethical issues that pertain to human-subjects research. Based on experience with reproductive cloning in animals, the report concludes that human reproductive cloning would be dangerous for the woman, fetus, and newborn, and is likely to fail. The study panel did not address the issue of whether human reproductive cloning, even if it were found to be medically safe, would be "or would not be "acceptable to individuals or society.

Table of Contents

Executive Summaryp. 1
The Panel's Conclusions and Recommendationsp. 1
The Findings That Support a Ban on Human Reproductive Cloningp. 2
Reducing Confusion Concerning the Use of the Term "Human Cloning"p. 6
Animal Cloningp. 11
Human Reproductive Cloningp. 12
Lessons from Other Assisted Reproductive Technologies Relevant to Human Reproductive Cloningp. 12
Using Nuclear Transplantation to Produce Embryonic Stem Cellsp. 13
Current Arguments and Counterarguments Regarding Human Reproductive Cloningp. 14
Summaryp. 17
Referencesp. 17
1. Introductionp. 19
National Bioethics Advisory Commissionp. 20
Charge to Panelp. 22
Methodp. 23
Organization of this Reportp. 23
Referencesp. 23
2. Cloning: Definitions and Applicationsp. 24
What is Meant by Reproductive Cloning of Animals Including Humans?p. 24
How is Reproductive Cloning Done?p. 25
Will Clones Look and Behave Exactly the Same?p. 26
What Are the Purposes of Reproductive Cloning?p. 26
How Does Reproductive Cloning Differ from Stem Cell Research?p. 27
Findingsp. 32
Referencesp. 33
3. Animal Cloningp. 39
Which Mammalian Species Have Been Cloned, and How Efficient Are the Reproductive Cloning Procedures?p. 39
What Defects Have Been Observed in Cloned Animals?p. 41
What are Some Possible Reasons for the Defects?p. 42
Failures in Reprogrammingp. 43
Failures in Genomic Imprintingp. 44
Mitochondrial Heteroplasmy and Conflictp. 47
Telomere Shorteningp. 48
Mutationsp. 48
X-Chromosome Inactivationp. 49
How Does the Science of Animal Reproductive Cloning Apply to the Cloning of Humans?p. 51
Findingsp. 52
Referencesp. 52
4. Assisted Reproductive Technologyp. 61
What Is Assisted Reproductive Technology?p. 61
How Efficient Is In Vitro Fertilization? How Does It Compare in Efficiency with Animal Cloning?p. 61
What Other ART Procedures Are Relevant to Human Reproductive Cloning? What Is Their Relevance?p. 63
Can Current ART Procedures Be Used To Assess Possible Risks Associated with Cloning?p. 64
Does Cloning Provide Benefits Not Provided by Current ART Procedures?p. 65
Can the Screening Methods Used in ART Procedures Be Used To Prevent Potential Severe Defects in Reproductively Cloned Humans?p. 65
To What Extent Are ART Procedures Regulated in the United States?p. 67
Have Any ART Procedures Ever Been Prohibited or Threatened with Prohibition?p. 68
Findingsp. 68
Referencesp. 69
5. Human Reproductive Cloning: Proposed Activities and Regulatory Contextp. 74
What Methods Are Likely To Be Used Should Anyone Carry Out Human Reproductive Cloning Now or in the Near Future?p. 74
What Protections Should Be Provided to Human Subjects Who Participate in Human Cloning?p. 75
Current Arguments and Counterarguments Regarding Human Reproductive Cloningp. 76
How are Human-Subjects of Research Protected?p. 79
In the Absence of a Cloning Ban in the United States, How Would Human Reproductive Cloning Be Regulated, If At All?p. 80
How Does a Moratorium Compare with Other Potential Policy Interventions Related to Human Reproductive Cloning?p. 83
Have Others Suggested a Human Reproductive Cloning Moratorium?p. 83
What Types of Legislation are Under Consideration with Respect to Human Reproductive Cloning?p. 84
Would a Moratorium on Human Reproductive Cloning Hold?p. 86
Findingsp. 87
Referencesp. 89
6. Findings and Recommendationsp. 92
The Findings That Support a Ban on Human Reproductive Cloningp. 93
Implications of the Proposed Ban on Reproductive Cloning for Nuclear Transplantation to Produce Stem Cellsp. 96
The Panel's Conclusions and Recommendationsp. 98
Summaryp. 99
Referencesp. 100
Appendixesp. 101
A Panel and Staff Biographical Informationp. 103
B Animal Reproductive Cloning Data Tables on Reproductive Cloning Efficiency and Defectsp. 112
C Workshop Agenda and Speaker Biographical Informationp. 144
D Bibliographyp. 157
E Glossaryp. 265