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Human cloning sparks explosive debate

Antinori is set to reveal his plans in the U.S. on Tuesday  

As Italian fertility doctor Severino Antinori prepares to announce his plans to clone a human being, debate rages worldwide over the ethics and safety of his procedure.

While some commentators have attacked Antinori, telling him "not to play God," others have applauded his courage in tackling what promises to be the biggest scientific breakthrough of our time.

CNN's on-line debate on human cloning has shown how polarised opinions really are.

Here are some more of the many e-mails you have sent

Oh hell no!!! Are these women crazy? The risk of so many complications, and even if the clone lived it would have so many problems. Whatever happened to individuality and everyone being unique? DON'T PLAY GOD!!!! -- Jamie, USA.

It is said that there are many side effects from the limited past experience in animal cloning, so perhaps scientists should work in perfecting the methods so as to reduce the chances of abnormalities-side effects and increase the success probabilities, before starting to experiment with humans. -- Eleni Nikolaraki, Greece.

Where do I sign up??!! -- Mercatur, USA.

Normally the human cloning should not be done, or cannot be justified, but (when) it is beneficial to someone then there is no harm in doing so. -- Pawan Kumar, India.

Penny Pennington, U.S.
YES! I volunteer and am excited about living in this brave new world!  

I would not volunteer for the cloning project. I cannot imagine the monstrosities that will occur when this comes to fruition. I would imagine there would be so many disappointments (i.e. miscarriages, deformities, other genetic defects) compared to successes that it is not worth the risk. -- Travis Lane, USA.

No I would not volunteer. I don't know what it is like to not be able to have children, although I haven't had any yet. But it would be much more of a humanitarian service to adopt a child whose parents are unable to take care of it. Conception is a miracle and I think it should be left as much alone as possible. -- Gordon, USA.

From a global view, I understand how risky cloning can be. Personally, I'd be really afraid to do, but also really interested in trying. Anyway, I think that cloning should not be used for fertility problems, but only when needed to prevent diseases. -- Andrea Toscani, Italy

God obviously created man with a capacity for intelligence great enough to bring us to the point at which we could achieve human cloning. Would God have created such a high capacity for learning and development if God did not expect us to achieve this level of medical mastery? -- Jeff Myers, USA

Definitely NOT!! This is crazy!! I do feel for those who cannot have children of their own, but science has come up with ways to make that possible without cloning!!! What next will we be putting in orders for eye colour and hair colour or better yet gender?? God determines who will have children and when, cloning is not an option!!! -- Jennifer Johnson, Germany

I applaud Dr. Antinori's decision to move forward on this issue. The attitude of the US lawmakers is myopic; it was clear that someone would try some day to clone a human being. Regulation of this practice would help implement it in a safer environment. Yes, of course I would volunteer. -- E. Ciurana, USA

Jennifer, Germany
Definitely not! This is crazy!  

In time, science will be ready to clone humans safely, but is it really wise to do so now? How would you feel if you were born a freak with four eyes and three arms because you were your dad's or mom's clone and some went wrong in the process? -- Phil, Switzerland.

I think I would go ahead and do this, it is not an exact clone and it won't have my memories or anything creepy like that, it just has the same genetic pattern and genetic potentials that I was born with. Since we all know that environment plays into account how much of our genetic potential is realised I think I wouldn't mind being "cloned". -- William Neidlinger, The Netherlands.

The opportunities this presents to couples who otherwise may not have the chance to have children of their own are staggering. As a single man who one day wants to have children, having cloning as an option is an insurance policy that I am grateful to modern science for creating. -- Mehdi Oummih, USA/Morocco.

I would not have any hesitation to agree with the scientists to clone a human being if God can allow them the access. -- Sharrif, Kenya.

Many people are outraged by the thought of human cloning because of the unknown. Others, are intrigued by the possibilities. Still others, as myself, thrive on the hope of a child, tread lightly on the thought of such a process. -- AMR, USA.

This Italian "doctor"......hang him by the neck!!!! What will be next...? Create an army of zombies??? -- R. Claessens, Canada.

Yes! I would volunteer. I think it's time. Go for it Dr. Antinori. Good Luck. -- J. Harding, USA.

I have 2 children whom I love very much. If I had been unable to them, I know I would have done anything possible to get pregnant -- let it be cloning or whatever, experiment after experiment. I'm sure people who are unable to have children feel the same way. If cloning works for them, then may God bless them with a child. -- Beverly Bates, USA.


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• NIH: Stem cell information
• National Bioethics Advisory Commission
• U.K. Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority
• Cloning

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