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Invasion of the clones

Kerstin Bergman, a researcher at Lund University, Sweden, discusses how positive images of human clones are infiltrating our entertainment media and slowly shifting our perception

Kerstin Bergman
Although human clones were common fixtures of 1970s films and novels, they virtually disappeared as characters during the 80s and early 90s. This vanishing act mirrored the lack of any major scientific developments in the field during this time, and many believed that cloned people would stay forever confined to science fiction. After the birth of Dolly the sheep in 1997, however, cloning people became, once again, a distinct possibility. In parallel, films and novels about clones began to multiply, and today critics speak about "clone lit" as a well-established genre. Renowned recent examples include Kazuo Ishiguro's novel Never Let Me Go (2005), Kevin Guilfoile's novel Cast of Shadows (2005), and Michael Bay's film The Island (2005).Yet despite the negative attitudes toward human reproductive cloning that continue to dominate the media debate -- which warns of birth defects or psychological damage caused by a judgmental society -- the reputation of...

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