Can you clone a human?
Human cloning is the creation of a genetically identical copy of a human. The term is generally used to refer to artificial human cloning. The term clone is derived from an Ancient Greek word “klōn”.
MIRIAM HALL: For years scientists have tried to perfect this particular cloning technique, but it's never been possible.
Therapeutic cloning is considered ethically controversial because it requires the creation and then the destruction of an embryo.
But scientists and ethicists agree the cloning of human embryos can offer enormous benefits but should be monitored closely.
This latest cloning project - and the wealth of information scientists hope it will provide - is just one of the many such animal-cloning experiments under way. Even as the human-cloning debate has dominated headlines and congressional hearings, scientists have cloned everything from mice to lambs to bulls.
The practice of human cloning also opens the Pandora's Box of genetic engineering. Would one's worth be determined prenatally, based on the combination of one's genes? It would be tempting for parents to try to make their children perfect in the lab room. Would an engineered person lack the humanity that is defined by our imperfections? Would human cloning give rise to genetic discrimination, from individuals as well as insurance companies? What if a clone was created simply to gratify a parent's memory of their deceased child? Could such a person ever truly feel a part of the family? Of society? Even worse, unscrupulous governments could employ human cloning to create a menial class of servants, or to employ other forms of social engineering. (The Nazis showed us how notions of an institutionalized master race can quickly lead to atrocity.)