cover image A Clone of Your Own? The Science and Ethics of Cloning

A Clone of Your Own? The Science and Ethics of Cloning

Arlene Judith Klotzko, , illus. by David Mann. . Cambridge Univ., $24 (162pp) ISBN 978-0-521-85294-4

British bioethicist, lawyer and science writer Klotzko delivers a straightforward and breezy look at cloning and related issues like stem cell research. Our fears of reproductive cloning (which she says is inevitable) are based on misconceptions: "In a time when beliefs of genetic determinism are in the ascendancy, a clone, with a genome chosen for him by someone else, may seem to be as hobbled, constricted, and dehumanized as the products of Brave New World' s Predestination Room." To correct this misperception, she provides an excellent overview of "the unfolding of this fantastic experiment" that spans more than 60 years, from the early theories of August Weismann to the recent cloning of Dolly the sheep. She is most effective in presenting her main arguments, which are that a clone, like an identical twin, "would not and, indeed, could not, be a mere copy of its progenitor," and that, since she guesses that stem-cell-derived therapies may reach clinics in "five to ten years," unless the current U.S. prohibition of federal funding of embryonic stem cells is ended, Americans will be way behind the technology curve. Agents, Daniela Bernardelle and Bruce Hunter for David Higham Assoc. (Oct.)