Cloning - Archive

Cloning Archival Materials

  • UK ALLOWS HUMAN EMBRYOS TO BE CREATED WITH 2 MOTHERS & ONE FATHER.   The UK’s Human Fertilization/Embryology Authority has reversed a ban preventing scientists from creating embryonic children derived from the combined ova of two women with the sperm from a single father. The need to combine the ova from two women is argued to be a necessary means to prevent mitochondrial disease like muscular dystrophy being passed from a woman who carries the genetic trait to her offspring. By inserting the non-nuclear portion of the ovum from a woman free of the disease into the ovum of a woman who carries the disease, scientists argue they can prevent its transmission. Newcastle University Professor Doug Turnbull and Newcastle Fertility Centre scientific director Dr Mary Herbert are spearheading the controversial procedure. US scientists claimed to have used a similar procedure to ensure 15 children born to mothers with mitochondrial disease were born without the disease in 2001. Comment on Reproductive Ethics spokesman Josephine Quintavalle said, “This shows once again that the HFEA does not have any regard for public consultation and the views of the public,” according to a BBC report. “It is undesirable to create children in this way. It will shock the world. This is playing around with early human life.” [LifeSiteNews.com, 9Sept05, London,http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4228712.stm]
  • FIRST HUMAN “CLONES” CREATED WITHOUT USE OF SPERM. The Roslin Institute, which also created Dolly the sheep, reported creating the first embryonic Humans without the use of sperm – from the genetic material of the mother alone. The group said they stimulated an egg to divide without the use of human sperm, to a stage of development where they hope they can “mine” cells for experimental research purposes. “At the moment we have not managed to get stem cells from these embryos but that continues to be our ambition,” Dr Paul De Sousa said [British Association’s Festival of Science, Dublin, BBC]. UK law allows the creation of cloned embryos for so-called “therapeutic” use – the tiny humans can be used in scientific research, but not implanted into a woman’s uterus and allowed to mature into a viable baby.
    Parthenotes – the name given the cloned embryos after the Greek word Parthenogenesis – when created in animals like monkeys often result in abnormal development.
    The Roslin scientists said their eggs are derived from donor women who are undergoing sterilization. The decision may appear to be self-contradictory, but advocates of human cloning for experimental research commonly maintain that cloning ‘human beings’ and cloning human embryos are qualitatively different activities. The fact remains however that reproductive cloning allows cloned human embryos to live until birth and beyond whereas “therapeutic” cloning requires that cloned human embryos be killed for experimentation prior to birth.While also condemning reproductive cloning, Renato Martino [former representative, United Nations] said in 2002 that therapeutic cloning is “an even more serious offense against human dignity & the right to life, since it involves human beings (embryos) who are created in order to be destroyed.” He said therapeutic cloning “must be” prohibited also, calling it an “exploitation of human beings, sought by certain scientific and industrial circles, and pushed forward by underlying economic interests.” [LifeSiteNews.com, 9Sept05, DUBLIN] Related :
    Creator of Dolly Granted License to Clone Humans For Experimentation
    http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/feb/05020806.html
    Organization Says British Approved Human Cloning Violates Nuremberg Code
    http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/feb/05020907.html
    UN Approves Declaration Banning all Human Cloning
    http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/mar/05030802.html
    Feminist Revolutionary Warns of Exploitation of Women with Cloning Research
    http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/mar/05030303.html
    Cloning Doctor to ask Women to Donate Ova for Experiments
    http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/jul/05072606.html
    BBC coverage:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4228992.stm
  • THREE LITTLE PIGS DIE FROM CLONING EFFECTS adult cloned pigs at the Univ of CT have dropped dead from heart attacks. They were made using a variation of methods that produced Dolly the Sheep (which also died unexpectedly). Of 4 piglets born, 1 died within days. The remaining 3 expired of heart failure at less than 6 months of age, team leader Yang said. “It was totally shocking.” He has dubbed the fatalities ‘adult clone sudden death syndrome’. Nature‘s online Science Update notes, “The pigs’ demise is a stark reminder that cloned animals are far from normal. The deaths call into question the idea of transplanting hearts or livers from cloned pigs into humans.” [“Adult clones in sudden death shock,” Nature News Service, 8/27/03, http://www.nature.com/nsu/030825/030825-2.html; LifeNews.com, #3060, 5Sept03]
  • CHINESE RESEARCHERS CLONE HUMAN/RABBIT HYBRIDS 400 hybrids were made “by fusing human skin cells with rabbit eggs.” One hundred of them survived to the “blastocyst” stage, the point at which they were killed for their embryonic stem cells. “This research marks a frightening new step into the Brave New World of biotechnology.” The researchers attempt to answer what can be called the egg problem. Part of the problem with attempting to use human clones to cure diseases is that hundreds of millions of human eggs would be needed to try to cure and then treat even a single disease. Where will all the eggs come from? Developing world policy makers fear that women from poor countries will be the targets of a massive
    egg harvests, a process th
    at is both painful and dangerous to the woman. The Chinese experiments answered the egg problem by using human skin cells inserted into the eggs of rabbits. No complaints have yet been heard about these new Chinese experiments from the European Union. It is the EU that has persistently campaigned against and even banned genetic manipulations that combine different plant species. The EU remains unalterably opposed to any and all genetically modified food, even those that clearly benefit mankind. The EU, e.g., is opposed to a genetically manipulated drought resistant rice that also prevents large-scale blindness in Africa. Yet, EU policy
    makers so far remain silent on cross-species manipulation of mammals. At the same time that the Chinese reported on their human/ rabbit
    experiment, researchers at the Univ of MN have reported on important new advances in adult stem cell research. Adult stem cells are non-controversial because they are derived in non-lethal ways, in this case from bone marrow. The MN researchers have shown that adult stem cells taken from mice can be made to differentiate into cells similar to those of the midbrain and therefore might be successful in treating diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. The German Parliament has called for a comprehensive ban on all forms of human cloning, yet its executive branch is leading the charge at the UN to allow for human experimental cloning. Though a ban on human cloning languishes in the US Senate, the Bush Administration is leading the fight in the UN for a comprehensive ban. The UN debate on a comprehensive ban on human cloning will resume in the next few weeks
    . [Washington Post; Washington Update, FRC, 14Aug03; CULTURE & COSMOS, 26Aug03, v1, n4, Culture of Life Fdn/Inst, www.culture-of-life.org]

 

  • ERA OF ‘UNBORN MOTHER’ LOOMS AS SCIENTISTS USE ABORTED FETUSES TO GROW HUMAN EGGS A quarter of a century ago the first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, was born. Now scientists have raised another startling prospect – “unborn mothers”. Dr Biron-Shental said that researchers obtained ovarian tissue from seven 4-month-old aborted fetuses and managed to keep slices of the ovaries alive for 4 weeks, long enough for the follicles to develop to the stage when they began to produce the female hormone estradiol. “We have an end goal and we continue to culture follicles from aborted foetuses. We have tried to improve the culture media and to prolong the culture period. We hope to get better results and more follicles,” she said. “I am fully aware of the controversy about this, but probably, in some places, it will be ethically acceptable.” Scarisbrick [of the organization Life] asked, “Who would want to know that their mother was an aborted baby?” Dr Gosden questioned whether the research was necessary; he has obtained ovarian tissue from adult women with the aim of culturing the follicles in vitro to produce mature eggs. [Tal Biron-Shental, gyn, Meir Hospital-Sapir Medical Centre in Kfar Saba, annual meeting, European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology in Madrid; Steve Connor, Science Editor, 01 July 2003, independent.co.uk]
  • CHICAGO SCIENTISTS PRODUCE HUMAN EMBRYOS OF MIXED GENDER (part male, part female) raising ethics questions & prompting calls for more oversight of the rapidly evolving field of human embryo manipulation. The experiments [described at European Society of Human Reproduction/ Embryology mtg. in Madrid] involved hybrid embryos that were destroyed after 6 days, when they had grown to a few hundred cells organized into a microscopic, mixed-gender ball [written synopsis of the work submitted by the research leader, Norbert Gleicher of the Center for Human Reproduction]. Such work is legal in the USA if federal funds are not used and if the male – female embryos that Gleicher merged were freely donated for research; Gleicher reported they were. Nonetheless, his presentation drew criticism from some fellow scientists at the meeting. Reuters quoted an official of the society as saying, “There are very good reasons why this type of research is generally rejected by the international research community.” The experiments also angered U.S. opponents of human embryo research and prompted some ethicists to refresh their long-standing call for a national debate and perhaps creation of a national ethics board to review proposed experiments. “I don’t know if this work is ‘right’ or ‘wrong,’ but it should be reviewed and discussed long and hard before it’s done,” said George Annas [prof of health law & bioethics at Boston Univ] “…if scientists hear you talk about your work for the first time and say it’s outrageous, that says something.” An abstract of the work says the experiments were part of an effort to find out whether human embryos with genetic defects might develop normally if, during the first few days of their existence, they were “seeded” with healthy cells that could take over the work of the defective cells. To see if cells could survive transplantation — and if transplanted cells could multiply normally in recipient embryos — Gleicher transplanted 1, 2 or 3 embryo cells from male embryos into 21 one-day-old female embryos. He used different sexes, because male cells are easy to track in a female embryo through the males’ Y chromosome. In 12 cases, the hybrid embryos developed normally, with male and female cells intermixed. In 9 cases, the embryos developed abnormally. The team concluded that transplants of normal embryo cells represent a “possible treatment option” for embryos harboring genetic defects. Jeffrey Kahn [dir of the Univ of MN’s Ctr for Bioethics] said the controversy is the latest manifestation of a problem that dates back 20 years, when the federal gov’t decided it would neither fund nor oversee human embryo experimentation. That has pushed the work into the private sector, where oversight is all but nonexistent even as bigger and bigger ethics questions are raised. “It all comes back to what you think the moral status of the embryo is,” Kahn said, adding that the situation is only going to get more complicated as embryos get altered to the point of perhaps not being embryos. “The question is, ‘What is it?’ ” Kahn said of Gleicher’s creation. “If you think it is something with the moral status that you or I have, then you have a big problem.” Douglas Johnson [legis dir of Nat Right to Life]: “These are truly female human embryos who are being used as subjects for lethal and unethical experimentation.” Annas [Boston Univ ethicist] said he favored creation of a national review board to consider the scientific/ ethical value of such studies. The President’s Council on Bioethics, under Chicago physician/philosopher Leon Kass, has turned its attention to reproductive medicine regulation. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A1608-2003Jul2.html washingtonpost.com, By Rick Weiss, 3Jul03]
  • A CLONED COW, twice normal birth weight, rapidly deteriorated & was euthanized. [Cin Rt to Life bulletin, 6/03]
  • FAILURE IN PRIMATE CLONING ATTEMPTS –using 724 eggs from rhesus female monkeys, they transferred 33 embryos into surrogates: no pregnancies. (Dolly the sheep took 277 attempts. Dolly was euthanized in Feb03 due to premature aging ailments.) Lead researcher Schatten found that “proteins in the eggs of primates are so tightly bound to the egg’s DNA that cloning’s first step of DNA removal pulls them out. The cells don’t divide properly, which results in a chaotic mix of chromosomes too abnormal for pregnancy to begin.” The Science article stated: “this is certainly a nail in the coffin of reproductive cloning with the technology we now have available”. In 2003, 21 states have introduced 47 bills to outlaw human cloning. [Univ of Pittsburgh; Science, 4/03; Cin Rt to Life bulletin, 6/03; HLA Action News, Spring 03]
  • FIRST DOLLY, NOW MATILDA — Dolly, the world’s first cloned sheep to survive (the only one of 277 tries) developed progressive premature arthritis and then progressive lung disease — common in 11-12 year-old sheep — although Dolly was 6 years old; she was euthanized in 2/03. Matilda was Australia’s first cloned sheep, and younger than Dolly. Yet, one week after Dolly’s death, Matilda died suddenly on 19Feb03. Premature sudden death has been reported for cloned mammals. This is the same technique being proposed for human cloning. [Cincinnati Right to Life, 5/03]
  • THE BIOTECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY ORGANIZATION formed 9 years ago, has increased its annual sales from $6 billion to $16 billion, spending heavily on lobbyists and on political action, and is the main force for legalizing and funding research cloning. [Cincinnati Rt to Life Ed Fdn, Sept02]
  • ABNORMAL GENES In the largest study of its kind [Whitehead Inst for Biomedical Research, Boston MA] reports that attempts to clone new animals will almost always create an abnormal creature. After studying 10,000+ genes, scientists noted that one in every 25 genes was abnormal in cloned mice, and that “premature death, pneumonia, liver failure and obesity in aging cloned mice could be a consequence of these gene expression abnormalities.” [Wired.com; Celebrate Life, Nov-Dec 02]
  • CLASS CLONE: STANFORD TO ADOPT STEM CELL INSTITUTE – SU announced that an anonymous donor has provided $12 million for a center devoted entirely to the study of human cloning & stem cell research. That this is funded privately, not publicly, makes it no less pernicious. Dr. Irving Weissman, an outspoken proponent of “the right to clone,” has agreed to head the institute, but emphatically denied that the project involves cloning human embryos. Rather he said, “Stanford’s work would involve taking DNA from diseased adult human cells and transferring them into eggs, then growing them in the lab. The cells would then be harvested, destroying the blastocysts before they’re implanted.” Funny, but that’s exactly how the American Association of Medical Colleges (of which Stanford is a member) defines cloning. [Ken Connor, Pres; Family Research Council; 13Dec02; 202-393-2100; http://www.frc.org]
  • THE CLONING OF HUMAN BEINGS would seriously damage the structure of the American family.  Yet as Stanley Kurtz of the Hoover Institution noted in the on-line edition of National Review, the report by the President’s Council on Bioethics failed to utter a single word about the negative impact reproductive cloning would have on the family.  “Cloning to produce children,” Mr. Kurtz wrote, “has the potential to undermine marriage and the family by enabling unmarried women and men to have children, without the assistance of a second parent.”  Of course, in vitro fertilization already makes this possible.  But cloning would, in Mr. Kurtz’s words, “liberate human vanity to allow at least some among us to produce a child wholly in their own image, and thus free of any legal or emotional complications related to the existence of a second parent.” And in the absence of any legal prohibition on cloning, this will happen.  Once human embryos are cloned in a laboratory, there will be no way to prevent some from being implanted.  Professor Kurtz concludes: “You don’t have to be religious, or even very conservative, to recognize that two parents raising a child are better than one. Reproductive cloning will encourage a major expansion of single-parent families, while offering (very mixed) benefits to only a small percentage of traditional couples. In short, cloning to produce children is a dangerous idea.”
  • DOLLY THE SHEEP CLONER WILL NOW CLONE HUMANS http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/2322489.stm
  • GROUP CLAIMS SEVERAL CLONED PREGNANCIES, MISCARRIAGES A human cloning company linked with the Raelian sect – a religious group that wants to clone humans as part of a mandate by extra-terrestrials — has claimed that “several” women are currently pregnant with viable cloned embryos, meaning that they have progressed for “three months or more,” although the company noted that women enrolled in the program have experienced a higher rate of miscarriage than that of “normal” pregnancies. Clonaid President Brigitte Boisselier said that the group began implanting cloned human embryos into women’s uteruses in 2/02, but she would not say how many implantations the group had performed. In 7/02, Clonaid announced that they had produced “a few hundred” cloned embryos and that they had identified 50 women willing to have the embryos implanted in their uteruses. [Agence France-Presse; 3Oct02; [email protected]]
  • BUSH ADMINISTRATION FIGHTS FOR UN TO OPPOSE ALL HUMAN CLONING & has derailed for at least a year a proposal for a global ban on human cloning that the U.S. pro-life movement says rejects only human cloning, not human cloning for “research” purposes that involves the destruction of human embryos. “We very strongly feel that no decision is better than a bad decision.” France & Germany initially claimed support for their approach from the vast majority of the UN’s 191 member-states. But, with the help of the U.S. pro-life movement, the Bush administration began pushing hard earlier this year for a treaty that would ban both types of cloning. U.S. officials recently claimed support for their rival initiative from more than 30 other countries, led by Spain and the Philippines. The General Assembly first voted to draft a treaty last year, after Italian fertility specialist Severino Antinori announced his intention to become the first scientist to clone a human being. Numerous researchers have since claimed progress in research into the mechanics of cloning a variety of animals as well as humans, their organs and cells. But none so far has boasted of fashioning human clones in a laboratory. [Reuters; 8Nov02; [email protected]]

  • Unconfirmed Reports Suggest Italian Researcher Antinori Has Helped Woman Become Pregnant With First Human Clone – Antinori told Rome’s Il Tempo newspaper, that the pregnancy is real and that he has a “limitless supply of money” for his cloning experiment. He also said that Dr. Zavos in his group, a reproductive scientist/former Univ of KY professor, was working in an undisclosed Islamic nation, and he stated that the fetus is the “clone of an important, wealthy [Arab] personality.”[Johnston, London Sunday Telegraph/Washington Times, 4/8,Wash Post] “It is totally outrageous and irresponsible to attempt cloning of humans when we know there is a very high probability of several abnormalities, even if the baby survived to birth, which is extremely doubtful,” Jaenisch stated (O’Hanlon, Reuters/Boston Globe, 4/7). Simon Best, CEO of Ardana, a biotech company, said that this “threatens a growing success story in stem cell research” and “won’t help” win favor in an already close Senate vote (Blitz et al., Financial Times, 4/8). Antinori’s story may also bring about a continent-wide ban of human cloning in Europe (Financial Times). France and Germany, with the support of the European Commission, have already called on the international community to bar the procedure (Financial Times, 4/8; Kaiser Report, 8April02]

  • FIRST HUMAN EMBRYO IS CLONED/ HEALTHY COW CLONES/ CRITICS pro-lifers described the human experiments as horrific and said cloning research that intentionally creates then destroys human embryos is abhorrent. Advanced Cell Technology also announced their cow cloning work, saying they
    have created 24 cloned cows that are normal in every way. Last spring, leading scientists testified before Congress that cloned animals had so many defects that most died before birth or at it and that the survivors had a variety of problems. Given the high risk of serious defects, they said, it would be immoral to think about cloning humans. Most of the cloning efforts resulted in miscarriages or stillbirths and medical problems after birth; the study actually confirms that cloning is dangerous. The company created nearly 500 embryos by cloning; 30 survived to birth, of which 24 grew to adulthood. The scientists described their results at the National Academy of Sciences. Another company, Infigen, in WI, reported similar results at the meeting Nov. 27 to 29, called “Defining Science-Based Concerns Associated With Animal Biotechnology.” Dr. Rudolph Jaenisch, a biology professor at the Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said, “You have to define what normal is.” Another critic of human cloning, Dr. Mark E. Westhusin, a cloning researcher at Texas A&M University, said the question was not whether clones that survive to adulthood are normal — it was what happens to those that do not survive or that survive only after a rocky start. With cows, Dr. Westhusin said, the data on clones are consistent. “Ninety percent will abort,” he said. “Most others will have respiratory problems or the early onset of cardiovascular problems. The concerns of pregnancy and the first few days or weeks of life are the concerns at hand.” These problems could cost extravagant amounts of money to correct.
         Critics are calling the human cloning announcement a shameless cry for funding. “I think they’re mainly trying to bring attention to the company and break down certain barriers so (embryonic cloning) can occur in the future with less public attention and outrage,” said Stuart Newman, a member of the Council for Responsible Genetics. The research was published in the Journal of Regenerative Medicine. Despite the positive pitch of the company’s press release, several researchers have called the work a failure. Professor Ian Wilmut, of the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, Scotland, dismissed ACT’s research as “irrelevant,” in The Independent newspaper of London. “Frankly, the fact that the company is announcing this now suggests it needs the publicity for refinancing,” he was quoted as saying. The researchers at Advanced Cell used two techniques similar to the “nuclear transfer” technology Wilmut used to clone Dolly the sheep. Nuclear transfer involves taking the nucleus of an adult cell and placing it inside an egg from which the nucleus has been removed. Advanced Cell’s embryo developed into only six cells. Wilmut said that even an unfertilized egg could develop into the six-cell stage without adding the nucleus of an adult cell. “The fact that it did not develop beyond six cells suggests it is fairly lightweight research,” he said. Glenn McGee, who once sat on the company’s ethics board called the announcement “nothing but hype.” He said the company’s report lacks any significant details, including what cells company scientists actually grew from the cloned embryo. “They are doing science by press release,” he said
    .[http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/11/26/wclon26.xml&sSheet=/portal/2001/11/26/ixport.html; By David Derbyshire, Science Nov26/01; Electronic Telegraph; Pro-Life E-News; NYT:23Nov01; 30Nov01 Science; 26Nov01Wired Magazine www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,48629,00.html]

  • U.N. COMMITTEE BACKS GLOBAL PACT BANNING HUMAN CLONING http://www.nandotimes.com/world/story/174196p-1687825c.html

  • HORRORS PREDICTED FOR HUMAN CLONING EFFORTS The news that an international team, including an American, is moving ahead with its plans to attempt human cloning in a Mediterranean country has distressed scientists in the field. Researchers who have tried to clone animals report that 95 to 97% of such efforts end in disaster. Rudolf Jaenisch of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, MA, says, “Serious problems have happened in all five species cloned so far, and all are mammals, so of course it’s going to happen in humans. No question.” Researchers voiced their concerns: “If human cloning is attempted, almost all of the first 100 clones will abort spontaneously because of genetic/physical abnormalities, putting the health and lives of the surrogate mothers at risk. Of the handful of clones that make it to term, most will have grossly enlarged placentas and fatty livers. And of the three or four fetuses that may survive their birth, most will be monstrously big — perhaps 15 pounds — and will likely die in the first week or two from heart and blood vessel problems, underdeveloped lungs, diabetes or immune system deficiencies. …If one survives, it, like most animal clones, will likely have a huge naval, because of the oversized umbilical cord that develops during pregnancies involving clones. Most cloned cows are born with head deformities. Some carry abnormalities not obvious to the eye, such as one calf whose hyperventilating could not be stopped…You can dispose of these animals, but tell me, what do you do with abnormal humans?” asks Jaenisch. [Washington Post 3-7-01;EF, 16Mar01]

  • Britain Approves Cloning of Unborn Children for Stem Cell Research Peers in parliament’s upper chamber voted by 212 to 92 to allow the cloning and research. Prime Minister Tony Blair argues the move would allow Britain to stay at the forefront of the booming biotechnology industry. But right-to-life groups & religious leaders see it as the first step down a slippery slope to full human cloning. The European Parliament has urged Britain to stop its plans. Blair has courted controversy by strongly backing the technology. [ AP, Reuters; January 22, 2001; Infonet]

  • The British Patent office has granted Wilmut’s Roslin Institute patents on its cloning process & all animals cloned using the process. The patents have been licensed to Geron Corp., a CA based biotech company. The patent ALSO includes all intellectual property, all cloned human embryos up to the blastocyst stage. This means that “for the first time, a national government has declared that a human being created through cloning is, at its earliest phase of development, to be considered an invention in the eyes of the patent office. The implications are profound and far-reaching. [Los Angeles Times, 3 Feb00 by Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Biotech Century: Harvesting the Gene and Remaking the World; from HLA Action News, Spring 00, from Crusade for Life Report, vol.14, no.2]

  • In October 2000 at a gathering of international experts in reproductive medicine in San Diego, it was revealed that the Jones Institute for Responsible Medicine in VA had already created 40 embryos for the sole purpose of research.