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Cloning


Articles

Cloning Down Under

An Australian Reversal on Embryo Research

Winter 2007Michael Casey

The Cloning Logjam

Treaty Talks Break Down at the United Nations

Fall 2006

Cloning’s Apologist

Fall 2006Caitrin Nicol on Ian Wilmut’s defense of research cloning

Human Cloning and Scientific Corruption

The South Korea Scandal and the Future of the Stem Cell Debate

Winter 2006

On the Shelf

Quick Takes on The Father of Surgery, Box Boats, Cloning and the Law, etc.

Summer 2006

A Clone’s Lament

Spring 2006James Bowman on life as a useful pre-cadaver

The Many Casualties of Cloning

Spring 2006Richard M. Doerflinger on the lessons of the South Korean fraud

Acorns and Embryos

Fall 2004 - Winter 2005Robert P. George and Patrick Lee on moral standing and bad metaphors

The Bioethics Agenda and the Bush Second Term

Fall 2004 - Winter 2005

 

Blog Posts

“One way or another someone makes money off the dead.”

September 29, 2008

Your humble blogger has a review in the latest issue of the Weekly Standard about Donna Dickenson’s chilling exposé, Body Shopping: The Economy Fuelled by Flesh and Blood. In the piece, I discuss some of the more grisly practices of the global trade in human flesh and how we can rein in the worst of the body-snatchers:

Body Shopping describes a science that has become positively vampiric in its insatiable appetite for human tissue and organs, sometimes outright stealing the raw material it needs. A veritable black market in human flesh has been established, with each part individually appraised and priced: “Hand, $350-$850, Brain, $500-$600, Eviscerated torso, $1,100-$1,290.” A whole cadaver can fetch up to $20,000. The uses to which this tissue is put are no less gruesome. Bone dust from stolen cadavers might be found in your dental work. The collagen used to plump a starlet’s lips is likely derived from the cells of an infant’s foreskin. The “secret ingredient” in the various beauty treatments marketed to Russian women? Aborted fetuses from Ukraine.

“One way or another someone makes money off the dead,” one proud body snatcher declared, even as he pleaded guilty to over 60 counts of mutilation of human remains, and embezzlement. The entrepreneurial spirit cannot be tamed, it would seem, especially in so lucrative a venture as body shopping.

RELATED: I interviewed Professor Dickenson about her book for Conceptions here.

IVF: The Next 30 Years

July 18, 2008Nature magazine's July issue has a special feature on the 30th anniversary of IVF. After discussing the legacy of IVF (subscrip. req'd), Nature asked a group of scientists what the next 30 years of IVF research will look like. Among the predictions:

  • Scientists will be able to create sperm and egg cells for anyone. Using sperm and egg cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, scientists will end infertility. Newborns and hundred-year-olds could become parents.
  • Embryo research will become a "fact of life": "They would become objects and would be used as objects...Maybe 20–30 years from now we'll read in newspapers that someone made 20,000 embryos and studied their development, and we'll decide it's OK."
  • IVF for less than $100: Cheap IVF will soon be made available in developing countries.
  • Healthy babies will be assured with the use of "genetic cassettes." Scientists will insert the cassettes into embryos to correct for diseases like Huntington's.
  • But people will still have sex: "IVF is expensive and uncomfortable. The old-fashioned way is cheaper and more fun and that won't change in 30 years."
  • Artificial wombs will change the abortion debate: "If an artificial womb were developed, the government could pass a law that requires people who have a termination of pregnancy to put the fetus into one of these wombs."
  • Alert the trial lawyers: There will be litigation over the health of IVF babies. "With the increasing availability of IVF, there will be more emphasis on safety. Not enough is known about the long-term health of the Louise Browns of this world — if there is a problem, it will be unexpected."

ART in the News: Weekend Round-Up Edition

"Frankenstein Science," Quadruplets, A Gene for Infertility, and More

May 27, 2008

ART in the News: International Edition

Infertility Awareness Week, the HFEA, and more

May 21, 2008