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      The Dolly case, the Polly drug, and the morality of human cloning Translated title: O caso Dolly, o fármaco Polly e a moralidade da clonagem humana


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          The year 1996 witnessed the cloning of the lamb Dolly, based on the revolutionary somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) technique, developed by researchers from the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland. This fact marked a relevant biotechnoscientific innovation, with probable significant consequences in the field of public health, since in principle it allows for expanding possibilities for the reproductive autonomy of infertile couples and carriers of diseases of mitochondrial origin. This article expounds on 1) the experiment's technical data and the theoretical implications for the biological sciences; 2) the public's perception thereof and the main international documents aimed at the legal and moral regulation of the technique; and 3) the moral arguments for and against cloning, from the point of view of consequentialist moral theory. We conclude that in the current stage of the debate on the morality of cloning, in which there are no cogent deontological arguments either for or against, weighing the probability of risks and benefits is the only reasonable way of dealing with the issue in societies that consider themselves democratic, pluralistic, and tolerant

          Translated abstract

          Em 1996, a ovelha Dolly foi clonada, valendo-se da técnica revolucionária do somatic cell nuclear-transfer (SCNT), desenvolvida por pesquisadores escoceses do Roslin Institute de Edimburgo. Esse fato representa uma inovação biotecnocientífica relevante, com prováveis conseqüências significativas no campo da saúde pública, pois permitirá, em princípio, ampliar as possibilidades da autonomia reprodutiva de casais inférteis e portadores de doenças de origem mitocondrial. Neste artigo, abordam-se 1) os dados técnicos do experimento e as implicações teóricas para as ciências biológicas; 2) a percepção pública no que se refere à clonagem e os principais documentos internacionais que visam a sua regulamentação jurídica e moral; 3) os argumentos morais pró e contra a clonagem, do ponto de vista da teoria moral conseqüencialista. Conclui-se que, no estágio atual do debate sobre a moralidade da clonagem, no qual não existem argumentos deontológicos cogentes, nem a favor nem contra, a ponderação da probabilidade de riscos e benefícios constitui a única maneira razoável de enfrentar a questão em sociedades que se pretendem democráticas, pluralistas e tolerantes.

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          Viable offspring derived from fetal and adult mammalian cells.

          Fertilization of mammalian eggs is followed by successive cell divisions and progressive differentiation, first into the early embryo and subsequently into all of the cell types that make up the adult animal. Transfer of a single nucleus at a specific stage of development, to an enucleated unfertilized egg, provided an opportunity to investigate whether cellular differentiation to that stage involved irreversible genetic modification. The first offspring to develop from a differentiated cell were born after nuclear transfer from an embryo-derived cell line that had been induced to become quiescent. Using the same procedure, we now report the birth of live lambs from three new cell populations established from adult mammary gland, fetus and embryo. The fact that a lamb was derived from an adult cell confirms that differentiation of that cell did not involve the irreversible modification of genetic material required for development to term. The birth of lambs from differentiated fetal and adult cells also reinforces previous speculation that by inducing donor cells to become quiescent it will be possible to obtain normal development from a wide variety of differentiated cells.
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            Vocabulaire techinique et critique de la philosophie

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              O si-mesmo como um outro


                Author and article information

                Cadernos de Saúde Pública
                Cad. Saúde Pública
                Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sergio Arouca, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil )
                : 15
                : suppl 1
                : S51-S64
                [01] Rio de Janeiro orgnameFundação Oswaldo Cruz orgdiv1 Departamento de Ciências Sociais, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Brazil
                S0102-311X1999000500007 S0102-311X(99)01500007

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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                SciELO Public Health

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                Saúde Reprodutiva,Bioethics,Clonagem,Reproductive Medicine,Engenharia Genética,Genetic Engineering,Bioética,Cloning


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