Last fall, the Senate failed to pass legislation restricting human cloning,
whether for research or reproduction. Legislators have again taken up the
issue, and again it has created a deep divide over stem cell research.
The Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2003, introduced by Sen Sam Brownback
(R-Kan) and 25 cosponsors, would outlaw reproductive cloning as well as research
involving human oocytes.
A competing bill, introduced by Sen Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), prohibits
reproductive cloning but encourages research on unfertilized eggs that undergo
parthenogenesis, the process whereby an egg develops without fertilization.
In cloning, researchers remove the nucleus of an oocyte and replace it with
the nucleus of a somatic cell (such as a skin cell) donated by the individual
to be cloned.
Vastag B. Dueling Cloning Bills Return. JAMA. 2003;289(9):1093. doi:10.1001/jama.289.9.1093-a