The Shocking Discovery
In early February of 1997, Ian Wilmut and his colleagues at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland made a scientific announcement to the world, appearing in the journal Nature, that would drastically change the course of science and the thoughts of many in the future. These scientists were the first to clone a mammal using cells from an adult sheep. Cells were taken from a Finn Dorset ewe and sent through a process called a nuclear transfer where the original cell was fused with that of a Blackface ewe and then implanted into another Blackface ewe. On July 5, 1996, the Blackface ewe gave birth to Dolly, a lamb genetically identical to the Finn Dorset donor. Not only did the Blackface lamb give birth to Dolly, but she also gave birth to an entire debate over the morality of cloning.1
The Debate Begins
The concept of cloning and the realization that it could be successfully completed on a creature as complex as a sheep shocked the world. Martha Nussbaum and Cass Sunstein make a statement that demonstrates the anxiety experienced by most of the public, "To many, if not most of us, cloning represents a possible turning point in the history of humanity. Some view the prospect with alarm; some with disgust; some with joy; some with the grief for the life we used to have, and will shortly have no longer." 2 A line was drawn between the people who wanted to immediately condemn cloning and the few that were bold enough to state some suggested benefits. Wilmut and his lamb, Dolly, had found themselves in the center of much debate and controversy over a discovery that challenges scientific, moral, and ethical issues across the world and one that is una...
... middle of paper ...
...ing Isn’t Science Fiction Anymore.”
2. I. Wilmut et al., Clones and Clones: Facts and Fantasies About Human Cloning (New
York: W.W. Norton, 1998), 11.
3. Martin E. Marty et al., Cloning (San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1998), 17.
4. Wilmut, 152.
5. Wilmut, 153.
6. Marty, 64.
8. Marty, 10-11.
9. Wilmut, 49.
10. Wilmut, 52.
11. Marty, 59.
12. Marty, 59-60
13. Wilmut, 72.
- Andrews, Lori B. The Clone Age. New York: Henry Holtand Company, 1999.
- Junker-Kenny, Maureen, and Lisa Sowle Cahill, ed. The Ethics of Genetic Engineering.
London: SCM Press, 1998.
- Nussbaum, Martha C. and Cass R. Sunstein. Clones and Clones. New York: W W Norton &
- Winters, Paul A. Cloning. An Opposing Viewpoints Series, San Diego, CA: Greenhaven
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