To Clone or not To Clone

by Pearse Cashman

Research for the 21st Century - Spring 2001

WAOL course

INTRODUCTION REFERENCE PERIODICAL ARTICLES NON-PRINT
TOPIC ANALYSIS BOOKS INTERNET SOURCES REVIEW

"No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a public library." (March 23, 1751) by Bartlett, John and Kaplan, Justin, Bartlett's liar Quotations 16th Edition Little, Brown and Company (Canada) Limited, Canada 1992

INTRODUCTION

What are the different ethical viewpoints from around the world?

We've all had the dream, I wish I had someone to go to school in my place, to do my homework for me, to take my tests, and to go to work for me while I float down the river on this extremely hot and sunny day. Maybe a robot that looks like me, someone or something that would do all the work while I reap all the benefits of good grades, a job with a steady paycheck, and everlasting fun. If I could only figure out how. Hey! How about cloning myself, that would be the coolest, then I could have all the fun while he does all the work! Nah… that will never happen, or will it?

For many the thought of cloning another human being was just a fictionious dream. It could never happen, hell I saw it on Star Trek, and if it happens on that show it is purely science fiction. Well take a step back, it's about to happen, it may have even already happened! First it was plants. If we could clone plant food sources, we could end world hunger. Being very successful in the cloning of plants, taking a chute off the mother plant and growing an identical plant, scientists next moved on to bigger ad more complex organisms. By the 1950's scientist were able to clone frogs, and in 1996 Ian Wilnut and a team of researchers cloned a lamb from the DNA of a sheep. Scientists around the world are working hard at developing the technology to clone. The question is not when, the question is: What are the different ethical viewpoints from around the world?

For many the thought of cloning another human being was just a fictionious dream. It could never happen, hell I saw it on Star Trek, and if it happens on that show it is purely science fiction. Well take a step back, it's about to happen, it may have even already happened! First it was plants. If we could clone plant food sources, we could end world hunger. Being very successful in the cloning of plants, taking a chute off the mother plant and growing an identical plant, scientists next moved on to bigger ad more complex organisms. By the 1950's scientist were able to clone frogs, and in 1996 Ian Wilnut and a team of researchers cloned a lamb from the DNA of a sheep. Scientists around the world are working hard at developing the technology to clone. The question is not when, the question is: What are the different ethical viewpoints from around the world?

Since this is such a new technology we will primarily focus on resources that are kept most current. We will look at historical reference resources for general knowledge. Please keep in mind that even the most updated resources are very likely a few years behind. Through out this process I have discovered that a lot about this topic is kept very quiet. To gather the general knowledge information we will look into the academic disciplines of biotechnology, genetic engineering, health, and science. To focus closer we will research Library of Congress Subject Headings: 1. Genetic Engineering 2. Government policy-Religious aspects-Risk assessment 3. Designed genetic change-Engineering, genetic-Gene splicing-Genetic intervention-Genetic surgery 4. Biotechnology 5. Genetic recombination 6. Cloning

After acquiring a good sense of what cloning is and how it is achieved it is time to search out the current progress. And in the mist of technology we will find the answer to our quest, what is the public opinion of cloning or what are the different ethical viewpoints on the repercussions of cloning? I found that I could find the most current information released on the topic of cloning on the web in the form of databases. Some that I have explored are: proquest direct, sirs database and health source plus. These databases have more information than I could ever hope to search through. By using the key terms: cloning, "ethics of cloning", human cloning, and biotechnology I was able to access unbelievable amounts of information.

Everyone seems to have a unique opinion about cloning. A lot of the information is in the form of opinion and speculation. The interesting part is where these opinions originate. It is in this, that I have learned the most about the different ethical viewpoints of cloning.


Topic Analysis

Academic Disciplines

LC Subject Headings

Keywords

Most Important Databases and Periodical Indexes


REFERENCE SOURCES

Organizations

American Society of Genetics

: http://www.faseb.org

Society in Opposition to Human-Animal Hybridization

Statistics

In 1995 and 1996 13.2 thousand students graduated in other than listed engineering categories, Biotechnical Engineering is one of these other categories.

US Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States.
             1999. (119th Edition) Washington, DC 1999

Articles in Reference Books

"Cloning". Encyclopedia Britannica Online. 2001. Encyclopedia Britannica. 4/19/01.             
             < http:/www.Britannica.com/>

The purpose of the article was to give the reader an overview of the scientific method of cloning. This article helps give me a better knowledge of history on cloning and it gives me the opinions of others to think about. By the 1950's scientist were able to clone frogs. In 1996 Ian Wilnut and a team of researchers cloned a lamb from the DNA of a sheep.

"Genetic Engineering and Cloning". Encyclopedia Britannica Online. 2001. Encyclopedia Britannica. 4/19/01.       
             < http:/ library.thinkquest.org/>

The purpose of the article was to make the reader aware of cloning and it's procedure, what's been accomplished and what's achievable. It lists the actions taken by President Clinton, Pope John Paul The III, and the Europe Union. Richard Seed announced that he was looking for a partner to open up a human cloning clinic. This article relates to my topic because it is a direct link to a forum on the pros and cons of human cloning. It will contain opinions and others outlooks on the ethics of human cloning. A link leads to more articles and many more sources of information on all aspects of cloning. Cloning books from Amazon.com, latest news reports from BBC, CNN, The UK, MSNBC and more. There are also articles of personal accounts of opinion, some of it really very grabbing.


BOOKS

Nusslaum, Marhac. and Cass R. Sunstain. Clones and clones. New York: Norton, 1998.

This book contains information on cloning and what it can offer the human race. The information contained in this book can help establish general knowledge of the pros and cons of cloning. Also this book may help to understand where some ethical views stem from.

McGee, Glen. The Human Cloning Debate. Berkley, Ca.: Berkley Hills Books, 1998.

Within this book the sides of the cloning debate are mapped out. There is information pro as well as against cloning. As with most of the information on this topic it is a matter of opinion. Scientists argue the advances of medicine while religions argue the ethics of playing God.


PERIODICAL ARTICLES

Hopkins, Patrick D. "Bad Copies: How Popular Media Represent Cloning as an Ethical Problem". Center HastingsReport. Sirs Researcher.  March/April 1998, pp. 6-13. May 25, 2001.
             < http://sks6.sirs.com/>

This article has good information on why people may have the views they have. It gives good background on the general publics knolledge of cloning. It would be a good source for this research paper because it because of the facts it contains. It is easy to read and understand.

Al-Ali, Nizar. "Science-Religion: Debate Opens Wide Theological Issues". Sirs Researcher. Feb. 4, 1998 n.p. May 25, 2001. 
             < http://sks6.sirs.com/>

This article contains concepts on cloning to both respects of science and religion. It is a good source of information on the religious ethics as well as scientific reasoning. There are good contrasting arguments for both sides. This article will give good depth on views of two sides of ethical views strongly contrasting eachother.

Jonsen, Albert R. et al. "Cloning". JAMA. Health Source. 4/11/2001. Vol. 285. Issue 14. p. 1895. May 25, 2001.          
             < http://ehostvgw2.epnet.com/>

This article gives good a explanation of what cloning is. All the medical terminology and procedures involved. Also the explanations of the different types of cloning that can be preformed. It will give clear differences between cloning for humanity and cloning for "mad scientists" personal achievements.


INTERNET SOURCES

Trift, Charles S. South African Doctor Ready To Clone Humans. 9/7/00. May  26, 2001. 
             < http:// www. Intelihealth.com/>

This was an interesting article about a human cloned successfully until terminated at 32 days. This article contains information on where doctors may be going to go to avoid laws and ethical issues. This is a good source to cite one doctors view on why cloning should progress.

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Human Genome Program. 
             Links To The Genetic World: 2. 1990 May 23, 2001. May 26, 2001. 
             < http://www.ornl.gov/TechResourcesHuman_Genome/links 2.html>

This is one of the best sights I have come across; it is the most accredited looking sight. There is lots of information on all aspects of cloning; there are lots of links to other sights, and all very professional looking. Lots of PhDs and MDs are sited as sources. It is very easy track where information comes from. The sight is user friendly, not so busy that you can't see what's going on, the sight is not cluttered with advertisements and such. Overall I get a very professional feeling when on this sight. One thing to lookout for I guess is the snake in the grass.


NON-PRINT

Human Cloning: How Close Is It?.June 6, 1999. May 25, 2001. 
             An interview with Lee Silver, Ph D. 
             < http://www.pbs.org>

This is an interview with Lee Silver Ph D, a lot of the questions are similar to the ones I brainstormed about. It is a lot of speculation and personal opinion. He is a professional and has seemingly strong credentials. There is good back ground information as swell as insight to why cloning is beneficial. The use of reproduction for unfertile parents seems to be the strongest point for cloning. Also he puts to rest a lot of myths of cloning.


REVIEW of my Research Process

Through out this term I have been searching information sources for the best possible leads to information on, and the ethics involved with, the cloning of human beings. The purpose of this project was to discover new forms of information sources. I started with a brainstorm, out of this process came many valuable key terms which lead me to lots of pertinent information. I began my search at the normal starting point, the library. I searched the reference sections for background information, and then advanced to catalogs to find whatever books and periodicals were available at this library. The next step was to take it to the web. I knew there was a lot of information available out there I just didn't know where. With the use of search engines and databases, I was able to uncover a world of information.

If I ever had to write a research paper and felt there was a shortage of information, those days are gone, till my computer crashes. I was over whelmed with the amounts of stuff out there. One very important tool I learned to use was the ability to decipher the good from the misleading. Because anyone can publish on the web you really have to look at the information with scrutinizing eyes. There is both good and bad information out there but with a closer look it is pretty easy to avoid bogus materials. From the information I have accessed, and there was a lot, I learned that both sides of the argument, to clone or not to clone, are as deep as Lake Chelan, deep.

The most up to date information that we the public have access to is found on the web. Even this information is usually history; much of the breaking technology is kept under wraps, sheltered from the rock throwers of society. Of all the sources I have researched I found I could access the most at home from my computer. The information seems unlimited and even I can add to it.


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