December 8, 2012 · 10:00 AM
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Cloning: When discussing the topic, most people might first think of Dolly the sheep, the first animal in the world to be replicated by cloning or DNA manipulation in 1996. However, before the arrival of Dolly, the basic process of cloning had been going on for decades.
The initial explosion in genetic research occurred in the 1970's, when scientists began employing the dynamic talent of plasmids, the simple bacteria that have since become the modern equivalent of the Xerox machine in the geneticist's lab. This new process dramatically sped-up the replication of genes to be stored in labs for further study around the world, and once scientists knew how to do replicate them, it was easy enough for any lab to cook up a batch.
Around the many moral, religious, medical, political, and social implications arose a heated and public debate that still rages.
The major arguments:
-Killing of potential human beings
-Slippery slope of what/who gets cloned
-Better safe than sorry
-Custom designed children
-Growing people for parts
-Development of an embryo industry
For our discussion you do not have to do any prior research, however if you have the time, learning a bit beforehand would contribute to a wider discussion. Here is a 6 minute youtube video that explains how cloning works, here is a Discovery channel documentary on human cloning, and here is Professor Lee Silver of Princeton University explaining why human cloning is nothing to worry about. If you prefer reading here is a great article that brings up many points we will go over.
We will be meeting at Windy City Cafe (menu) for a delicious brunch and to discuss cloning and the major arguments for and against it.