Research cloning involves the creation of clonal human embryos for biomedical research rather than for the creation of clonal human beings. The creation of clonal human embryos would allow the derivation of genetically specific embryonic stem cells that could be useful in drug testing and perhaps in the creation of therapeutically useful tissues. The creation of clonal embryos involves the process know as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), in which the nucleus of a (diploid) somatic cell is inserted into an egg cell from which the (haploid) nucleus has been removed. The resulting clonal embryo is induced to begin dividing with chemicals or electricity. Research cloning is controversial because it poses health risks to women who provide the necessary eggs, because the high demand for such eggs could lead to exploitation, and because the successful creation of viable clonal embryos would make reproductive cloning more feasible. Some countries prohibit research cloning. Others allow it but regulate the practice carefully. Still other countries have no national policies addressing research cloning but do have such policies at provincial levels. And many countries have no official policies at all.
Table: National policies
The Table shows policies currently in effect regarding research 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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