Reproductive cloning is the production of a genetic duplicate of an existing or dead organism. A human clone would be a genetic copy of an existing or dead person. The procedure involves creation of a clonal zygote by inserting the nucleus of a (diploid) somatic cell into an egg cell from which the (haploid) nucleus has been removed. This process is called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). With appropriate electrical and chemical stimulation, the clonal zygote will begin to differentiate, and if implanted in a women’s uterus could come to term. Although reproductive cloning of laboratory animals is now a common, it has proven difficult to create viable clonal human zygotes. Experiments with primates may suggest ways this difficulty might be overcome. Scientists, public officials and the general public have expressed strong opposition to human reproductive cloning, and many governmental and international bodies have adopted legislation banning this practice.
Table: National policies
The Table shows policies currently in effect regarding human reproductive cloning.
- PROHIBITED: This practice is prohibited by national law or policies having the force of law.
- regulated: This practice is allowed and regulated by national law or policies having the force of law.
- permitted: This practice is allowed by national law or policies having the force of law, but is not regulated.
- no policy: This practice is not addressed by national law or policies having the force of law.
- ?: It is unknown whether this practice is addressed by national law or policies having the force of law.
Note: The categories defined in the key and used in the table characterize the polices in any given country in a broad manner. Consult the page for each country for more detailed accounts of current policies.
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