Abstract from: Cloning : Where Do We Draw the Line?

Topics: Pregnancy, In vitro fertilisation, Embryo Pages: 3 (814 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Abstract from: Cloning : Where Do We Draw the Line?

The first attempt in cloning was conducted in 1952 on a group of frogs. The experiment was a partial success. The frog cells were cloned into other living frogs however, only one in every thousand developed normally , all of which were sterile. The rest of the frogs that survived grew to abnormally large sizes. In 1993, scientist and director of the in vitro lab at George Washington University, Jerry Hall and associate Robert Stillman, reported the first ever successful cloning of human embryos. It was the discovery of in- vitro fertilization in the 1940's that began the pursuit to ease the suffering of infertile couples. After years of research, scientists learned that "in a typical in-vitro procedure, doctors will insert three to five embryos in hopes that, at most, one or two will implant" (Elmer-Dewitt 38). And that "a woman with only one embryo has about a 10% to 20% chance of getting pregnant through in-vitro fertilization. If that embryo could be cloned and turned into three or four, thechances of a successful pregnancy would increase significantly"(Elmer- Dewitt 38).

The experiment the scientists performed is the equivalent of a mother producing twins. The process has been practiced and almost perfected in livestock for the past ten years, and some scientists believe that it seems only logical that it would be the next step in in-vitro fertilization. The procedure was remarkably simple. Hall and Stillman "selected embryos that were abnormal because they came from eggs that had been fertilized by more than one sperm" (Elmer-Dewitt 38), because the embryos were defective, it would have been impossible for the scientist to actually clone another person. They did however, split the embryos into separate cells, as a result creating separate and identical clones. They began experimenting on seventeen of the defective embryos and "when one of those single-celled embryos divided...

References: Elmer-Dewitt, Philip. "Cloning: Where Do We Draw the Line?" Time Magazine.
November 8th, 1993: 37-42.
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