Policy ForumDevelopmental Biology

Don't Clone Humans!

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Science  30 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5513, pp. 2552
DOI: 10.1126/science.1060463

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Successes in animal cloning have been accompanied by many failures: a few percent of nuclear transfer embryos survive to birth and, of those, many die soon after from serious developmental problems. Jaenisch and Wilmut oppose cloning humans, primarily because of the high failure rate and because the technology for detecting genetic abnormalities used in routine prenatal diagnosis cannot detect problems in epigenetic programming. Faulty epigenetic reprogramming can cause abnormal expression of any gene, which is consistent with the wide spectrum of developmental and physiological defects seen in cloned animals. Research into cloning specific cells for repair and regeneration of tissues would likely suffer from public reaction to human cloning failures.