Curious Use of the ‘C’ Word

Date: 05/15/2002

Gallup released poll results yesterday finding that 61% of those polled oppose cloning human embryos for use in medical research. Gallup also said, “A slight majority (51%) of adults favor the cloning of human cells from adults for use in medical research.” The word “cloning,” as in this statement, has lately been used to describe far more than the process of SCNT to create a human embryo.

This liberal use of the word “cloning” to refer to common cell replication is curiously new – for it only seems to have cropped up within the current highly charged debate involving whether or not to clone human embryos. While technically correct, we remember a day when cell replication was described as such, or described as cells grown in the lab, cell duplication, etc.

The Brownback-Landrieu cloning ban does NOT prohibit cell replication: (d) SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH- Nothing in this section restricts areas of scientific research not specifically prohibited by this section, including research in the use of nuclear transfer or other cloning techniques to produce molecules, DNA, cells other than human embryos, tissues, organs, plants, or animals other than humans.’