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Human beings can not be cloned • Friday April 4, 2003

Stem cells, he says, may be used one day to cure diseases
The News-Press, Apr. 4, 2003

We have nothing to fear from cloning and stem cell research, bioethics professor Raelian cults claim last December of cloning a baby girl named Eve just doesnt work, Caplan said.

The reason is that youre using old or damaged DNA (from an adult) to try and make something new, he said.

Granted, Dolly the sheep was made by taking DNA from a grown sheeps udder, which was transplanted into a sheeps egg and then stimulated by some electricity, Caplan said.

The problem is Dolly had to be put to to death in February at age 6 because of premature aging and disease. And it took 477 attempts to make Dolly, Caplan said.

There has never been the successful cloning of higher animals like primates, much less a dog or cat, Caplan said.

The bottom line is that humans arent cloneable despite what some kooks, cults and con men say, Caplan said.

The only successful human clones occur naturally identical twins, which come about when an embryo splits, he said.

Cloning human embryos like Dollys embryo was made though, is perfect for stem cell research, Caplan said.

Because the cloned embryo doesnt stand a chance of becoming a human being, that eliminates the religious, moral and ethical arguments that the research, in effect, destroys human beings, Caplan said.

The stem cells from the embryos could, however, be used to perhaps one day reproduce human cells to cure Parkinsons disease, diabetes and spinal cord injuries, for example, he said.

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