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Bringing Back Baby Jason

To Clone or Not to Clone



Author:

Jennifer Hayes-Klosteridis
Student Success Program
University of Maryland School of Nursing
klosteridis@son.umaryland.edu

Abstract:

This dilemma case, designed for use in an undergraduate genetics course, explores the basic genetic concepts underlying the cloning process as well as the ethical, medical, political, economic, and religious issues surrounding human cloning. While the case presents a fictitious scenario, it is based on the story of Charleston attorney and former state delegate Mark Hunt and his wife Tracey, who privately funded human cloning after the death of their infant son Andrew.

Objectives:
  • To introduce students to the concept of human cloning.
  • To develop an understanding of the basic genetic concepts underlying the cloning process, including imprinting, mitosis, meiosis, asexual reproduction, and sexual reproduction.
  • To encourage students to consider the scientific and social aspects of human cloning.
Keywords: Cloning; imprinting; enucleation; sexual reproduction; meiosis; mitosis; cell division; somatic cells; epigenetics; Mark Hunt
Topical Area: Ethics, Social issues
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Dilemma/Decision
Language: English
Subject Headings: Genetics / Heredity   Cell Biology   Molecular Biology   Biotechnology   Biology (General)  
Date Posted: 05/08/02
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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I recently did a mini case on cloning and so was very excited to read this case. The references for the instructor were wonderful and very well organized. I have some additional references to suggest.

Recently, Cibelli of Advanced Cell technology published a paper on making clones through parthogenesis. This is a major issue for those opposed to "full human clones." Since a clone made by this method would never live past the blastocyst stage and therefore would die of its own accord, there would never be a fully human adult clone by this method. For a brief overview, see the paper published online by Scientific American (Feb. 1, 2002): Scientists coax stem cells from unfertilized primate embryos" http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=scientists-coax-stem-cell.

More detailed information can be found in the following paper: Cibelli, J.B., A.A Kiessling, C. Kerrianne, C. Richards, R.P. Lanza, and M.D. West. 2001. Somatic cell nuclear transfer in humans: Pronuclear and early embryonic development. e-biomed: The Journal of Regenerative Medicine 2: 25-31. http://www.bedfordresearch.org/articles/cibelli_jregenmed.pdf

There are currently two bills out there that deal with stem cells and cloning and they are interesting, especially given the social slant of this case. Providing links to these bills would allow students to see the Senate is divided in this regard. There is a nice front page story in the February 2002 issue of Science and Technology in Congress (a publication of the Center for Science, Technology and Congress at American Association for the Advancement of Science) titled "Senate Braces for Cloning Debate." The Center also maintains an excellent resource page on cloning at http://www.aaas.org/spp/cstc/issues/cloning.htm.

Finally, the NCHLA (National Committee for a Human Life Amendment) maintains links to legislative reports and Senate briefings and statements via its "Campaign to Ban Human Cloning" site at http://www.nchla.org/docdisplay.asp?ID=115 - click on the "Related Information" button.


Katayoun Chamany
Science, Technology and Society Program
Euegen Lang College, New School University
New York, NY
chamanyk@newschool.edu
5/7/2002




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