• Question: Do you have any ethical views on certain types of scientific experimentation, such as cloning?

    Asked by heath1 to Gioia, Iain, Jo, Leo, Mariam on 21 Jun 2010 in Categories: . This question was also asked by mollieandkatey.
    • Photo: Iain Moal

      Iain Moal answered on 14 Jun 2010:

      Yes, I do. Cloning is a strange one and although we cannot clone humans yet, it is important to talk about its implications for when we do have the technology. I wouldn’t rule out cloning straight away. After all, identical twins are clones of each other. Cloned embryos could be a source of stem cells, which could have great medical value.

    • Photo: Mariam Orme

      Mariam Orme answered on 20 Jun 2010:

      I’m guessing that when you say cloning, you’re thinking about making ‘copies’ of human beings. That’s not possible yet, but it may well be one day. It could have good uses – for example, a cloned embryo could provide cells to treat a disease – but I feel a bit uncomfortable about the idea.

      But I do ‘cloning’ of a different sort all the time – it just means copying a bit of DNA, and I very often copy a bit of DNA to allow me to express a gene in cells, to try and understand what it does.

    • Photo: Leo Garcia

      Leo Garcia answered on 21 Jun 2010:

      I don’t find issues like cloning or stem cell research a problem, as long as they are well regulated, and there is strong scientific merit (and ethical approval) behind any experiments.

      I do find animal testing on chimpanzees a little disturbing, because they are so closely related to us, and highly sensitive and intelligent animals. Those kinds of experiments are performed extremely rarely, and under tight conditions. However, I would not wish to be part of such an experiment.