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Cloning in the Popular Imagination

    • Published online: 01 April 1998

Dolly is a lamb that was cloned by Dr. Ian Wilmut, a Scottish embryologist. But she is also a Rorschach test. The public response to the production of a lamb by cloning a cultured cell line reflects the futuristic fantasies and Frankenstein fears that have more broadly surrounded research in genetics and especially genetic engineering. Cloning was a term originally applied to a botanical technique of asexual reproduction. But following early experiments in the manipulation of the hereditary and reproductive process during the mid-1960s, the term became associated with human biological engineering. It also became a pervasive theme in horror films and science fiction fantasies. Appearing to promise both amazing new control over nature and terrifying dehumanization, cloning has gripped the popular imagination.

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Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
  • ISSN: 0963-1801
  • EISSN: 1469-2147
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-quarterly-of-healthcare-ethics
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