Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cloning by any other name

The Scientist magazine is inviting individuals to participate in a discussion on human cloning.
In the June issue of The Scientist, we will be publishing a special feature that re-casts the scientific approach and public image for the process that has become known under several guises, including "stem cell cloning" "somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)," "research cloning," or "therapeutic cloning."

Questions they hope will be addressed include "Is the nuclear transfer challenge one of understanding or technique?," "Is it time to reevaluate the ethics of stem cell cloning?" and "Does stem cell cloning need new terminology?"

On that last question, I was thinking, "Isn't "stem cell cloning" new terminology?" It seems to be a new attempt to blur the reality that human cloning for research wouldn't create stem cells, it would create a nascent cloned human being who could then be destroyed for her stem cells while at the same time trying to connect cloning to something which must people see as positive (stem cells). This new terminology question could almost be a contest to find the best way for proponents of human cloning for research to label what they want to do in a way that doesn't turn off the public.

So if you're one of those individuals interested in this kind of bio-ethical stuff, go over there and leave a comment.

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