Cited by Science magazine as the “breakthrough of 1997,” the world’s media flocked to cover the story of a cloned sheep named Dolly by scientists at Scotland’s Roslin Institute. While scientists had been cloning animals since 1952, when a tadpole was cloned, the creation of Dolly was significant because it was the first time a mammal had been successfully cloned. Since Dolly, researchers have cloned goats, cows, mice, pigs, cats, rabbits, and a gaur (an endangered species of wild ox). The application of cloning technologies to human beings raises a number of ethical concerns however.
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Therapy vs. Enhancement
An important distinction that needs to be kept in mind when thinking about Faking Life issues is between therapy and enhancement. This distinction can help in many cases to begin to discern licit and illicit uses of various biotechnologies. Therapy involves fixing a problem—making something right, correcting something that is wrong—whereas enhancement involves changing something that is not a problem or improving something to a state that we might call better than well. Here is how . . . [Continue Reading . . .]
What is CRISPR?
CRISPR/Cas9 (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a technology that allows for the editing of genes within organisms. It is part of a wider group of technologies that allows scientists to edit genomes, but CRISPR has become the most prominently known because when used in combination with the Cas9 protein, it gives scientists a kind of precision never before seen . . . [Continue Reading . . .]