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Abstract From: Cloning : Where Do We Draw The Line?

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379 words
Science & Nature

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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 into two cell'the
scientists quickly separated the cells, creating two different embryos with the
same genetic information" (Elmer-Dewitt 38). The cells are coated with a
protective covering "called a zona pellucida, that is essential to development"
(Elmer-Dewitt 38), which was stripped away and replaced with a gel-like
substance ...

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