The politically and ethically contentious issue of cloning, relegated to a back burner following the Sept. 11 terror attacks, re-emerged Thanksgiving weekend following publication of research results at Advanced Cell Technology Inc. ACT scientists claimed that they had for the first time successfully created human embryos through somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) and parthenogenesis.1

The U.S. Senate is gearing up for a showdown vote within the next couple of months over whether to outlaw all forms of cloning involving human cells or to ban cloning for reproductive purposes while permitting research using SCNT, or therapeutic cloning. If the Senate should pass a total ban, the measure almost certainly will be signed into law. The Republican-led House of Representatives last July approved a similar bill and President George W. Bush supports a ban on all forms of human cloning.2

The ACT pronouncement...

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