Scientists defend cloning of sheep
Oppose experiments on humans
February 25, 1997
Web posted at: 5:07 p.m. EST (2207 GMT)
From Correspondent Siobhan Darrow
ROSLIN, Scotland (CNN) -- The scientists who cloned a sheep
defended their actions Tuesday, but said they would oppose such experiments on humans.
"These animals are absolutely normal sheep," said Alan Colman
of PPL Therapeutics, which sponsored and is patenting the
work. "They behave like sheep, look like sheep. They are not
Dolly, named for U.S. country music star Dolly Parton, bleated and wandered around her pen for the photographers who had come from around the world to see her for themselves. The
obviously healthy sheep nuzzled the journalists with her
typically sheep-like pink nose.
Human cloning theoretically possible
The Roslin Institute's Dr. Ian Wilmut, who pioneered the
technique that cloned Dolly from a single mammary cell from
an adult sheep, said that while human cloning is
theoretically possible, he saw no reason to do so.
"We would all find it ethically completely unacceptable and
would not do it," Wilmut said. (153K/7 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
Instead, he said, the focus should be on the potential
benefits of the new procedure.
"I would be concerned ... that we don't (throw) away the baby
with the bath water and miss these opportunities because we
are trying to prohibit things we don't like," he said.
"Nuclear weapons are much more dangerous than this," Wilmut
Still, others say the scientists are tampering with the very
essence of humanity. Richard Nicholson of the Bulletin of
Medical Ethics said the process may well be "sowing the
seeds of our destruction." (196K/9 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
But the work at Roslin, Colman said, was aimed at producing
"I think it is undoubtedly true that when dealing with life or death issues, things become more acceptable," he said.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Related sites:Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
Watch these shows on CNN for more sci-tech stories:
CNN Computer Connection | Future Watch | Science & Technology Week
© 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.