Category Archives: Cloning

Ethics and science collide: Therapeutic cloning of human stem cells

If mice were human, this spring would have marked amazing advances in the battle against disease. By surgically transplanting cells from early embryos called embryonic stem cells, scientists have performed the remarkable feat of repairing disabled body tissues. The key to these advances has been a special kind of cell isolated from embryos. After a… Read More »

Scientists Use Embryonic Stem Cells to Fix Damaged Body Tissues

This week scientists reported experiments that may lead to the ability to restore damaged brain and spine tissue, results that have electrified the scientific community. The great excitement among biologists about the isolation of embryonic stem cells arises because of the potential for regenerating human tissue. In adult humans nerve tissues do not divide often,… Read More »

Grappling with the Ethics of Stem Cell Research

Few advances in science have proven as controversial as embryonic stem cell research. The relevant facts are straightforward. Human embryonic stem cells retain the potential to become any tissue in the body, and thus have enormous promise for treating a wide range of diseases. In mice lacking immune defenses, researchers have used embryonic stem cells… Read More »

When does human life begin?

The story of when human life begins has a checkered past. Centuries before people knew of sperm and eggs, Aristotle argued that the fusion creating a new person did not exist until “quickening,” the first noticeable movements in a woman’s womb. He reckoned quickening occurred 40 days into pregnancy (18-20 weeks is the actual time).… Read More »


Should A Clone Have Rights? In the more than twenty years that I have been teaching biology at Washington University, few scientific advances have created a media uproar like that seen in the last few weeks over Dolly, a lamb cloned in Scotland from an adult sheep. It is interesting to ask why. While the… Read More »

The Road to Dolly

The world was riveted last week by the announcement that an obscure Scottish scientist had succeeded in cloning a sheep — in taking cells from an adult sheep and using them to make another sheep. While much of the press coverage focused on the potential of cloning humans using this approach, the immediate scientific impact… Read More »