May 21, 2004

Telomeres and the Ethics of Human Cloning

Bioethicist Fritz Allhoff chimes in on the ethics of human cloning in The American Journal of Bioethics to discuss the potential problem of shortened telomeres and accelerated aging. Abstract:
In search of a potential problem with cloning, I investigate the phenomenon of telomere shortening which is caused by cell replication; clones created from somatic cells will have shortened telomeres and therefore reach a state of senescence more rapidly. While genetic intervention might fix this problem at some point in the future, I ask whether, absent technological advances, this biological phenomenon undermines the moral permissibility of cloning.

Interestingly, Betterhumans reported earlier this week that cloning resets the cellular clock.

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