Human Cloning Around the World

Human cloning for therapeutic purposes is winning governmental approval in Britain and Japan, among other countries. This new support contrasts with past debate that resulted in the ban of federal funding for such research in the United States. Despite this ban, researchers in the United States early this year reportedly cloned a human embryo and were able to obtain stem cells (the prized so-called “fountain of youth” cells from which most cells in the body differentiate). A team in South Korea also reported similar success.

Progress in stem cell research and cloning has accelerated in recent months, laying the foundation for a technology that could lead to new treatments and cures for many biological ills. This foundation could also lead to human cloning for reproductive purposes, leading to renewed calls for a ban of the technology. While ethical considerations should always be considered, it is doubtful that any such ban would be effective. As expertise and confidence grows, a new competitive atmosphere (among governments as well as researchers) will no doubt ensure continued progress, for good or ill.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet. His first published poem, "Roadside Freak Show," arrives on August 21, 2017 in Impossible Archetype.  His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (, on Goodreads (richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).