News & CommentBioethics

First Dolly, Now Headless Tadpoles

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Science  31 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5339, pp. 798
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5339.798

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The latest aftershock of the creation of "Dolly," the first mammal to be cloned by transferring one of its cell nuclei into an egg, came on Sunday, 19 October, when the Sunday Times, Britain's best-selling broadsheet Sunday paper, ran a front-page headline about headless frogs. The scientist who created these tadpoles while studying developmental genes had speculated about their practical use. Sometime in the future, he said, organs grown through nuclear transfer, followed by strict control of developmental pathways, might provide compatible transplant material for people who otherwise could not get organs--setting off a spirited discussion of the ethics of creating brainless humans for medical purposes.