Dolly 1st.Anniversary - Church of Scotland Press Release

Bob Carling (
Tue, 03 Mar 1998 17:37:02

>Date: Mon, 23 Feb 98 13:21:30 PST
>Subject: Dolly 1st.Anniversary - Church of Scotland Press Release
>To: Margaret Jeffrey <>,,
> Michele Rigby <>,,
> Raymond Tringham <>,,
> Robert Vint <>,
> Sam Berry/EIN <>,
> Frank Bardgett <>,
> Frank Turner SJ <>,
> Jennifer Potter <>,,
> Church Times <>,
> Bethan Ilett <>,
> EECCS Strasbourg <>,
> Gudrun Kordecki <>,
> Hans-Hermann Bohm <>,
> Bob Herrmann <>, Bob Carling <>,
> Christine von Weizsaecker <>,
> Ronald Cole-Turner <>,
> Marise Pegat-Toquet <>,,
>, ENI ENI <>
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>To various UK, European and wider contacts of the Society Religion and
>Project, Church of Scotland, for information
>First Anniversary of Announcement of Dolly
>Dr Donald Bruce, Director, Society Religion and Technology
>Project, Church of Scotland
>Contact tel. 0131-556 2953, Fax 0131-556 7478,
>or Church of Scotland Press Office 0131- 240 2243
>23 February 1998, for immediate release.
>Dr Bruce is Director of the Society Religion and Technology
>Project of the Church of Scotland, and is thus the a scientist
>responsible for assessing ethical issues in technology for the
>Scotland's national church. He has published a number of
>articles on ethical aspects of the cloning issue, and chaired an
>expert working group in Edinburgh on the ethics of genetic
>engineering in non-human life forms, one of whose members was
>Ian Wilmut, the Roslin scientist leading the cloning work. This
>work will be published in a book "Engineering Genesis" this
>A year ago today, Dolly the sheep, the world's first mammal
>cloned from an adult cell was announced (although she was born
>in July 1996). This created an extraordinary level of interest.
> The Society Religion and Technology Project Internet website on
>cloning has continued to receive about 400 visits a day for
>almost the whole year, with inquiries from all over the world.
>The unprecedented media and public interest has not always
>resulted in a balanced coverage and debate, however. Claims
>about rapid progress towards human cloning, doubts about the
>exact origins of Dolly, and both enthusiasms and fears about
>medical applications - these are examples of the exaggeration
>that has been as much a feature of the discussion as the issues
>The technology is still in its early days, and shows the sort of
>uncertainties one would expect at this stage. Some animal
>welfare concerns over cloning will need to be resolved before it
>could be used more widely. These suggest, however, that to
>attempt the same thing in humans ought not to be alowed, as it
>would put mother and foetus at serious risk, quite apart from
>the strong worldwide ethical objection to cloning human beings.
>There has also been much publicity given to the possibility that
>Dolly may have originated in foetal cell material and not from
>an udder cell. This would seem very remote and probably does
>not justify the level of doubt cast, especially since the main
>technological development in sheep and now cattle is being done
>with foetal cells.
>The first extension of the work to cattle was announced earlier
>this year and a second case is report by PPL Therapeutics in the
>USA. This is simply another logical step in the application of
>the Roslin method of nuclear transfer, and raises no particular
>objection from the Church of Scotland. In May 1997 the General
>Assembly supported the limited application at the Roslin
>Institute and PPL Therapeutics to genetically modifed cloned
>farm animals, producing medically useful proteins in their milk.
> It would be opposed, however, to the extension of Roslin's
>cloning technology, not only to cloning human beings, but also
>to the routine cloning of animals for production, seen as a step
>too far in applying mass production methods to animals. Cattle
>are the most likely animals to which this might be done, and the
>Kirk will monitor how these latest developments are applied.
>The church left open for the time being its view on medical
>applications which might arise out of the Roslin technique,
>short of cloning a full human being. Some of these might prove
>ethically questionable; some might not. It is encouraging that
>the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Human
>Genetics Advisory Committee have produced a consultation
>document seeking public debate on this issue. It is vital that
>the debate is not swayed either by unbridled fears or
>exaggerated scientific optimism, and that it takes due account
>not only of rational argument but also the more intuitive public
>reactions and basic underlying values these express.
>Date: 02/23/98
>Time: 13:21:30
>Dr Donald M.Bruce
>Society, Religion and Technology Project
>Church of Scotland
>John Knox House
>45 High Street
>Edinburgh EH1 1SR
>Tel. +44 (0)131 556 2953
>Fax +44 (0)131 556 7478
Dr R.C.J. Carling, Senior Commissioning Editor Science
National Publishing, The Stationery Office
St Crispins, Duke Street, Norwich NR3 1PD

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