Kansans for Life © 2015

Issues Home Cloning
What is cloning?

Cloning is the creation of an organism that is an exact genetic copy of another. This means that every single bit of DNA is the same between the two!

You might not believe it, but there are human clones among us right now. They weren't made in a lab, though: they're identical twins, created naturally.

What is the difference between Cloning and Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT)?

There is no difference – they are exactly the same.

How does cloning (Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer) work?

Here’s how cloning works – step by step:

Somatic cell: A somatic cell is any cell in the body other than the two types of reproductive cells, sperm and egg, which are called germ cells. In mammals, every somatic cell has two complete sets of chromosomes, whereas the germ cells only have one complete set.

Nuclear: The nucleus is like the cell's brain. It's an enclosed compartment that contains all the information that cells need to form an organism. This information comes in the form of DNA. It's the differences in our DNA that make each of us unique.

Transfer: Moving an object from one place to another.

To make Dolly, researchers isolated a somatic cell from an adult female sheep. Next, they transferred the nucleus from that cell to an egg cell from which the nucleus had been removed. After a couple of chemical tweaks, the egg cell, with its new nucleus, was behaving just like a freshly fertilized zygote. It developed into an embryo, which was implanted into a surrogate mother and carried to term.

The lamb, Dolly, was an exact genetic replica of the adult female sheep that donated the somatic cell nucleus to the egg. She was the first-ever mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell.

Why do some scientists want to clone human beings?

Some scientists believe they need thousands, even millions, of clones (embryos) to perform experiments (like having thousands of mice to perform experiments). Cloning provides exact copies of the organism for medical experimentation.  The problem is that the new embryo must be killed in order to obtain its stem cells.

What is Reproductive Cloning & Therapeutic Cloning?  What is the difference?

Some scientists claim these are different.  They say Reproductive Cloning will produce a human baby but Therapeutic Cloning will never become a baby. In reality there is no difference – both would produce a human baby if allowed to develop but in Therapeutic Cloning the developing embryo is killed for its stem cells.

What are some of the major problems with Cloning?

There are many problems including:

1. Female human eggs are needed for cloning – millions of human eggs from women who must donate or sell them for research. A woman has about 400 mature eggs in her lifetime.

2. Clone embryonic stem cells tend to grow into tumors and cannot be controlled to grow into just one type of cell.

3. Clones have many, many medical problems and do not live very long – if at all.

4. The purpose of cloning is to obtain embryonic stem cells by killing the developing human being. The cloned humans would be used for medical experimentation.

Points to Remember

A)  We must respect and nurture all human life from the beginning.

B)  We must always error on the side of life.  If we are not sure if it is human life, then we must not harm the living organism.

C)  There is a difference between cellular research and organism research.

D)  Human life begins at conception and/or when our DNA is complete.

E)  The end does not justify the means.

F)  You and I were once embryos and someone took care of us and nurtured us.  Now, we must do the same for our littlest brothers and sisters.

G)  God loves each and every human being and all of us are valuable, made perfectly, and have a purpose in the eyes of God.

Kansans for Life © 2015