Do clones have Birthdays?

Cloning always seems to be popping up in the news – it’s an issue where science meets sci-fi and it raises enormous ethical questions. It’s also a topic on many GSCE courses, so it’s a great subject to discuss with your class.

Cloning from an adult cell really hit the headlines back in 1997 with the arrival of Dolly the Sheep. Her relatively early death in February 2003 fuels the debate about the ethics of cloning research and the long-term health of clones.

The Science Museum’s Antenna team have put together a mini site on the world’s most famous sheep here, perfect for student research.

Did you know she was named after Dolly Parton? If you want to find out why download the fab talk Science cloning quiz – a perfect lesson starter to introduce cloning.

There are lots of controversial figures in the world of cloning which can make for interesting case studies in class. Hwang Woo Suk cloned the worlds first dog, the adorably named Snuppy, and later claimed to have created the world’s first cloned human embryonic stem cells. The claim was revealed to be false, but it was believable - the technology to clone humans might not be too far away.

People have cloned sheep, dogs, cats, mice and monkeys. Meet Andi the rhesus monkey:

Andi the Rhesus monkey

He’s adorable, and so much like a human baby.

Very soon scientists will be able to clone humans. The question is, should they? Would society consider clones as fully human as the rest of us? Ask your students how they would feel if they found out that they were a clone, and how they would feel about their “parent”. You could show them this video, which set in 2021 and follows the story of Clarissa, who is told on her 18th birthday that she is a clone of a woman who donated an egg.

One thought on “Do clones have Birthdays?

  1. gina guwin

    that dose not explain very much i still don’t know if a clone has b-day or not and that was an adorable picture with the monkey and this is all very good information and everything but i don’t think it should be legal

    Reply

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