Discussion Assignment #10

Mirror, Mirror

This will be a bit of a change of focus. This week, we're going to take a look at one of the many bioethical issues that have arisen with the exponential increase in our skill at biotechnology: cloning.

First, a bit of investigation. There are two basic approaches used to clone mammals. One has been in use for several years; the other became famous (or perhaps infamous) with the publication of the news about the cloning of the sheep, Dolly. What are the basic approaches of these two cloning techniques? You don't need to explain them in great detail; just explain the rationales behind them. NOTE: we are talking about cloning whole organisms here. Things like stem cell research are not part of this answer.

If you could use either of these techniques to clone humans, would you get identical results? In other words, if I cloned you as the scientists cloned a sheep, would your clone "offspring" be identical to you? Explain your answer. Is the answer different for the two different methods of cloning?

You'll need to do a bit of searching for this one, probably on line. Check out what people are saying about the implications of cloning. Describe at least three things about cloning that people object to. Another way to say this is, identify at least three things that scare people about cloning. For each, evaluate just how reasonable a fear it is.

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