Ethics US Department of AG Stem Tech US Government Friends of Animals BioTechnology US Law US pharmaceutical
Hello Dolly

[INTRODUCTION |TASK | PROCESS | RESOURCES | CONCLUSION | TEACHER TOOLBOX]


INTRODUCTION

"Cloning creates ordinary children. They will be unique individuals, not photocopies of individuals. " (Italian professor Severino Antinori 2001)

Some 60 years ago amphibians were used to produce clones, but the embryos died at tadpole stage. During the last six decades, the cloning of a mammal was only possible in the imagination of the scientific community. (FIle Not Found)

Hello Dolly! Out of the blue, Ian Wilmut, a researcher from the Roslin Institute in Scotland, announced that his team had successfully cloned a lamb from an adult cell. The next day, the Pope denounced the discovery as a "lack of respect for life". The scientific community hailed the discovery as a break through for mankind.

YOUR TASK

Governments around the world are currently debating the potential impact of cloning on society.  The purpose of this discussion is to determine how to legislate cloning.  On February 27th, 2003, the 108th US Congress passed the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2003 (YEAS 241 | NAYS 155 | NV 38 |File Not Found)

Sec. 302. Prohibition on human cloning

(a) IN GENERAL- It shall be unlawful for any person or entity, public or private, in or affecting interstate commerce, knowingly--

(1) to perform or attempt to perform human cloning;
(2) to participate in an attempt to perform human cloning; or
(3) to ship or receive for any purpose an embryo produced by human cloning or any product derived from such embryo.

(b) IMPORTATION- It shall be unlawful for any person or entity, public or private, knowingly to import for any purpose an embryo produced by human cloning or any product derived from such embryo.

(c) PENALTIES-

(1) CRIMINAL PENALTY- Any person or entity that violates this section shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.
(2) CIVIL PENALTY- Any person or entity that violates any provision of this section shall be subject to, in the case of a violation that involves the derivation of a pecuniary gain, a civil penalty of not less than $1,000,000 and not more than an amount equal to the amount of the gross gain multiplied by 2, if that amount is greater than $1,000,000.

(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.'


Mr. Weldon's proposed bill only addresses the cloning of humans. Placing a ban on all cloning activity would be easy, but it may prove to be very short sighted.  Cloning technologies may have a profound impact on society in the 21st century.  Cloning research has the potential to impact:

World Hunger Animal Rights
Infertility Disease Treatment
Economics Scientific Research
Immortality Overpopulation


Your task will be to ask good questions, access current information, analyze the validity of sources, reach consensus with your peers, take action, and explain the consequences.  All in an effort to answer one primary question:

What government policy should be established to regulate cloning?

Keep an open mind, and try not to reach a conclusion before your investigation is complete.  You will be assessed on how you process information, support your point of view, communicate effectively, and collaborate with your peers.  Good Luck!   

THE PROCESS

The United States House of Representatives is assembling a group of specialists to investigate the wide spread implications of cloning on the social, economic, and political fabric of American society. Each specialist team will present their findings during a Cloning Summit. It will be the responsibility of the team members to evaluate the proposed Human Cloning Prohibition Act, and determine if the bill should be expanded to include other types of cloning research.

Step 1: Dr. Frankenstein, I Presume?

Step 2: Walking a Mile in My Shoes

Step 3: The Cloning Summit

Step 4: Building Consensus

Step 5: Tell the World

Step 1: DR. Frankenstein, I Presume?

What is all the commotion about?  Andrew Ross, managing editor for Salon Magazine, posed several questions to Dolly's creator Dr. Ian Wilmut. The questions focus on many of the hopes and fears about human cloning.  Get together with your teammates, and visit DR. FRANKENSTEIN, I PRESUME?

As a group, determine how to attack the following small activity.

  • Use the interview to identify three hopes and three fears about human cloning.
  • Craft three additional questions that your group would ask Dr. Wilmut.

Step 2: Walking a Mile in My Shoes

Now it’s time to look at cloning from several different perspectives. Each perspective has it's own point of view, and offers a unique solution to the complex problems that frame cloning. 

Each classroom team will be assigned a role. To make sure your team members fully understand their roles, open the dossiers below to learn about each group's responsibilities.  After you have explored each role, open the role your group has been assigned, and start your quest.

   

Stem Tech

A San Diego biotech firm that specializes in embryonic stem cell research.

Institute of
Theology and Ethic
An international group of theologians of various ideologies.
US Senator A group of distinguished senators gathered together to analyze the Human Cloning Prohibition Act.
Friends of Animals A nationally recognized group of citizens that promote the humane treatment of animals.
Roslin Institute Team A group of devoted scientists that cloned a sheep; Dolly. Their role will be to explain cloning.
Professors
of Biomedical Ethics
A few of the nation's top scholars of biomedical ethics.
Agriculture US Department of Agriculture An expert scientific team that will focus on the benefit of cloning on the nation's food supply.
CLN Pharmaceutical A company committed to the advancement of pharmaceutical products using cloning. A main contributor to the original Dolly cloning experiment.

 

Step 3: The Summit

It is time for your team to share what it has learned about cloning.  You have become an expert on your role's point of view, and the people attending the Cloning Summit need to learn about cloning from your perspective.  Your team will be given ten minutes to explain how the proposed Human Cloning Prohibition Act should be expanded or maintained, and you must explain your reasoning.  Pictures, video & audio clips, and quotes from your research can only strengthen your presentation.  

It is your job to present your perspective effectively. If you choose to do a PowerPoint presentation, it is your responsibility to make sure the program will work before the day of the Cloning Summit. If you are not using PowerPoint, you may create a butcher paper mural, or you may choose to create a video presentation. Be creative. You may want to take a quick look at a possible grading rubric that describes a excellent presentation.

Audience Responsibilities

As a member of the Cloning Summit Audience, your job is to listen carefully to each presentation.  You will be called upon to participate on a Summit Subcommittee that will ultimately decided how the government should proceed.  While listening to the other perspectives:

  1. Write down the other role's "Big Question."

  2. Create a list of points your role would support and reject.

Step 4: Take a Stand

Several separate Summit Subcommittees have been established to develop a recommendation on how the government should proceed.  Each Subcommittee should consist of one expert from each role, so developing a recommendation will not be an easy task.  What's good for science research may not be good for animal rights or religious beliefs.  You must discuss, persuade, argue, deal, and brainstorm a plan of attack. You will not all agree on the best way to present your action plan, but you must reach a consensus.  You may find that you must agree to disagree in order to find the best solution.

A separate "Take A Stand" activity has been created to assist your subcommittee in creating an action plan. 

Step 5: Tell the World

Your final responsibility will be to share your Cloning Summit Subcommittee report with a "real-world" contact.  This will give you the opportunity to receive feedback from an expert that has not been part of the project. [Possible Grading Rubric]

First, you must find a contact.  You may remember an email contact in one of your research artifacts.   You might want to surf through the resources again, and look for an email contact. Your group might also consider sending your recommendations to a government official.   In which case, you can find a list of email addresses at:

Write an introduction to your email that will provide your contact with the background information they will need to understand your recommendations.  Be sure to tell your contact that you are seeking feedback. Cut and paste your Take A Stand report into the body of the email or send your report as an attachment.

  • Make sure that all the members in your group have proof read the email message before sending it.
  • Send your email.  Make sure that you 'cc' (carbon copy) your teacher, so that he or she has a copy of your work.

CONCLUSION

Cloning may be the most important scientific discovery of the current century, and its impact will be felt long into the next century.

"Most human events go through three phases of growth. First is the fear and abhorrence, and the second phase is sort of a tolerance, acceptance, and passivity, and the third phase is enthusiastic endorsement." (Dr. Richard Seed)

It's time for our students to take a stand and tell the world what they believe.


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