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The Science and Ethics of Nuclear Transplantation

Summary: Types of reasons. Types of cloning

In the article “Human Cloning – The Science and Ethics of Nuclear Transplantation,” Jaenisch (2004) has raised many vital questions of scientific and ethical aspects concerning human cloning. According to Taheri (2016), “Human cloning brings a new challenge into a global and general recent century” (para. 1). Rudolf Jaenisch believes that human cloning cannot be performed not only because of the moral reasons but also because of the scientific and technical reasons, opposing this practice. The author stresses the fact that “reproductive cloning” should not be mixed with “therapeutic cloning” aiming at creating an embryonic stem cell line, as the later is often viewed positively as a potential way of treating many diseases and undertaking research in humans and animals alike.

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Reproductive cloning

While dealing with the subject of “reproductive cloning,” Jaenisch (2004) points out that some of the problems the researchers have to face may prove to be unsolvable. The author notes: “A case in point is Dolly the sheep, the first mammal cloned from a somatic cell, which appeared healthy at a young age but died prematurely with numerous pathological abnormalities” (Jaenisch, 2004, p. 2787). The evidence that cloned mammals have serious abnormalities even if they survive to birth is one more argument against the “reproductive cloning” (producing a human by the application of somatic-cell nuclear transfer).

Efficient cloning

Jaenisch (2004) goes into many technical details when describing the impossibility of efficient cloning, giving many reasons. He states that a healthy animal cannot be created through cloning because of the epigenetic difference that excites between the chromosomes inherited from the father and those, inherited from the mother (Jaenisch, 2004). After the nuclear transfer stage in cloning, the epigenetic differences are subject to elimination. That is why imprinted genes in cloned animals are extremely amenable to inadequate methylation, causing abnormal expression, which has been proved experimentally.

According to Jaenisch (2004), to avoid this undesirable effect and to make cloning a safe procedure the genomes of two parents of the donor cell have to be separated physically and treated individually from the “oocyte-“ and “sperm-“ compatible positions, but this approach lies beyond the scientists’ abilities. Currently, the impassable biological barriers trammel reprogramming after nuclear transfer stage and by doing so prevent from the use of “nuclear cloning” for reproduction.

Therapeutic cloning

Describing the “therapeutic cloning” Jaenisch (2004) states, that the use of nuclear transplantation for generating embryonic stem cells, differs greatly from the “reproductive cloning” for scientific, ethical and technical reasons. The author uses strong arguments in supporting his point of view saying that “therapeutic cloning” can provide the necessary material for therapy or research, whereas “reproductive cloning” has little chances to result in the reproduction of a healthy human being (Jaenisch, 2004).

Conclusion: types of embryo

In conclusion, Jaenisch (2004) draws attention to the fact that while “reproductive cloning” is ultimately rejected, the administration of embryos for generating embryonic stem cells is still in question. Ethically speaking, there is a vivid difference between the embryo generated by in vitro fertilization and the embryo created as a result of cloning. The author suggests that we have to distinguish between the cloned embryo, which has little if any chances to develop into a human being, and the embryo produced by in vitro fertilization (Jaenisch, 2004).


Rudolf Jaenisch has distinguished scientific, ethic, and technical aspects of human cloning. Each point of his narration is supported with clear examples, concise scientific evidence, and reliable data. The materials presented in the article serve a stable basis for viewing human cloning from scientific, ethical, and technical aspects without ever mixing them up.

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Jaenisch, R. (2004). Human cloning-the science and ethics of nuclear transplantation. The New England Journal of Medicine, 351(27), 2787.

Taheri, F. (2016). Ethical, religious and legal aspects of human cloning. Medical Ethics Journal, 7(24), 79-112.

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"The Science and Ethics of Nuclear Transplantation." StudyCorgi, 7 Dec. 2020,

1. StudyCorgi. "The Science and Ethics of Nuclear Transplantation." December 7, 2020.


StudyCorgi. "The Science and Ethics of Nuclear Transplantation." December 7, 2020.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "The Science and Ethics of Nuclear Transplantation." December 7, 2020.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'The Science and Ethics of Nuclear Transplantation'. 7 December.

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