Senate to debate ban on cloning

February 21, 2002 | Source: KurzweilAI

The Senate is preparing to debate the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001 (S.790), which would ban all forms of human cloning as well as the importation of therapies developed from cloned human embryos.”Such a ban could be passed without much public comment, so if you have strong views on this, get them in immediately,” Eric Drexler and Chris Peterson suggest in the Feb. 2002 Foresight Senior Associate Letter. “See for info on how.”

“If such a ban were passed, it would not obstruct progress toward molecular manufacturing: cloning isn’t an enabling technology here. In the long term, advanced nanotechnologies will eliminate the incentive for therapeutic cloning, so those who oppose such procedures may become strong advocates of nanotechnology.”

“Banning therapeutic cloning is ignorant in the extreme,” comments Ray Kurzweil. “But impediments of this sort just end up being stones in a river; the water just flows around it. There are already workable approaches to converting one type of cell into another. Every cell has the complete genetic code, and we are beginning to understand the protein signaling factors that control differentiation.

“The holy grail of tissue engineering will be to directly convert one cell into another by manipulating these signalling factors and thereby bypassing fetal tissue and egg cells altogether. We’re not that far from being able to do this.”

The Human Cloning Prohibition Act is being discussed on Foresight’s Nanodot site:

Scientists Seek Ways to Rebuild the Body, Bypassing the Embryos