Order Code RL31211
CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
Cloning: A Select Chronology, 1997-2003
Updated August 19, 2003
Mary V. Wright
Information Research Specialist
Information Research Division
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
This is a selected chronology of the events surrounding and following the
cloning of a sheep from a single adult sheep cell by Scottish scientists, which was
announced in February 1997. The project was cosponsored by PPL Therapeutics,
Edinburgh, Scotland, which has applied for patents for the techniques used. This
chronology also addresses subsequent reports of other cloning experiments, including
the first one using human cells. Information on presidential actions and legislative
activities related to the ethical and moral issues surrounding cloning is provided, as
well as relevant Web sites.
More information on cloning and on human embryo research can be found in
CRS Report RL31015, Stem Cell Research and CRS Report RS21044, Background
and Legal Issues Related to Stem Cell Research. This report will be updated as
Chronology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1997 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1998 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1999 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2001 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2002 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2003 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Web Sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Cloning: A Select Chronology of Events,
February 23, 1997. Dr. Ian Wilmut, a Scottish embryologist and his colleagues at
the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland, succeeded in cloning a sheep from a single
adult sheep cell. Dolly, the sheep that was created in this manner, is genetically
identical to the adult sheep from which she was cloned.
February 24, 1997. President Clinton asked the 18-member National Bioethics
Advisory Commission to study the ethical and legal implications of cloning. Human
cloning is not currently regulated by law in the United States.
March 2, 1997. Scientists at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center in
Beaverton, OR, reported cloning two monkeys. The monkeys, born in August 1996,
were cloned from monkey embryo cells, not cells from an adult monkey. The cloned
primates were not genetically identical to any adult monkey.
March 4, 1997. President Clinton issued a memorandum for the heads of executive
departments and agencies entitled Prohibition on Federal Funding for Cloning of
Human Beings. This memorandum may be accessed on the Internet at
docid=pap_text-144]. Also, the President issued remarks entitled Remarks by the
President on Cloning, which may be accessed at [http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/
The House Committee on Science’s Subcommittee on Technology held a hearing
entitled Bio technology and the Ethics of Cloning: How Far Should We Go?
March 12, 1997. A hearing entitled Scientific Discoveries in Cloning: Challenges
for Public Policy was held by the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee’s
Subcommittee on Public Health and Safety.
June 9, 1997. The National Bioethics Advisory Commission presented its report,
Cloning Human Beings, to President Clinton. The report may be accessed on the
Web at [http://www.georgetown.edu/research/nrcbl/nbac/pubs/cloning1/cloning.pdf].
President Clinton’s remarks, entitled Remarks by the President at Announcement of
Cloning Legislation, may be accessed at [http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/
June 17, 1997. The Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee’s
Subcommittee on Public Health and Safety held a hearing entitled Ethics and
Theology: A Continuation of the National Discussion on Human Cloning.
July 22, 1997. The House Committee on Science’s Subcommittee on Technology
held a hearing entitled Legislative Hearing on the Prohibition of Federal Funding
for Human Cloning Research.
August 7, 1997. Researchers at ABS Global, Inc., DeForest, WI, announced that
they had succeeded in cloning a Holstein bull from fetal stem cells. Stem cells are
“blank slate” cells that have not yet specialized their function, such as a liver or
muscle cell. The stem cell has the potential to be any part of the mature animal.
Gene, the bull, was created in this manner. Dolly, the sheep, was cloned from the
genetic material of an adult cell.
December 18, 1997. Roslin Institute scientists reported data showing the production
of the world’s first lambs that carry a human gene (transgenic lambs) created by
nuclear transfer. To produce the lambs, they first exposed skin cells (fibroblast) to
DNA that included a human gene and a marker gene. Then they took the cells that
contained both the marker gene and the human gene and followed the same cloning
technique they used to make Dolly. Both lambs contained the transgenic gene in
January 7, 1998. Dr. Richard Seed, a physicist from Riverside, IL, on National
Public Radio discussed his plans to open a clinic to clone humans before Congress
outlawed the procedure. He stated he had already assembled a team of doctors, and
four couples volunteered to participate. His objective was to provide childless
couples with children. He first announced his intention on December 5, 1997, at a
symposium on reproductive technologies in Chicago.
January 10, 1998. President Clinton, speaking in his weekly radio address, urged
swift action by Congress to ban the cloning of humans. He reiterated his support for
related areas of cloning research, which might lead to medical breakthroughs.
January 20, 1998. Michael A. Friedman, Acting Commissioner of the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA), stated that the FDA has the authority under the Food,
Drug, and Cosmetic Act to regulate human cloning, since it is a form of cellular or
genetic therapy. Since such therapies require prior approval by FDA reviewers,
anyone planning to legally attempt human cloning would have to file a formal
application with the agency, which would then undertake a lengthy review of the
proposal. Friedman also said the FDA would initiate legal action against anyone who
failed to file such an application.
July 22, 1998. Researchers at the University of Hawaii announced that they had
created dozens of mice by cloning, using a new technique in the most commonlyused laboratory animal. A paper detailing their method was published in the July 23
issue of the science journal Nature. The researchers were able to reprogram nuclei
from cells taken from ovaries of adult mice. Known as cumulus cells, these
differentiated cells surround the eggs of mice, as well as humans, and are shed with
eggs during ovulation. For the cloning experiment, nuclei from cumulus cells were
inserted directly into egg cells whose nuclei had been removed. The combination
was then activated with chemicals prompting the eggs to start dividing and form
embryos. The embryos were transferred to the wombs of surrogate mice, and some
resulted in the birth of mice clones (identical to mice from which the cumulus cells
were taken). This was the first published documentation that adult animals could be
cloned since researchers in Scotland announced the birth of a cloned sheep named
Dolly in February 1997. Some scientists questioned the validity of that study. In the
same issue of Nature, two other papers were published where researchers in England
documented that Dolly is indeed a clone.
August 19, 1998. Scientists at the Ruakura Research Center in Hamilton, New
Zealand, announced the cloning of the lone survivor of a rare breed of cow. The
cloned cow is the last member of a herd which had lived in isolation on Enderby
Island, a barren, subantarctic section of the Auckland Islands. From the cow’s
ovaries, the scientists took several granulosa cells, which nourish egg cells in the
ovaries. The granulosa cells are similar to the cumulus cells that Hawaiian
researchers used to clone mice. The nuclei from the granulosa cells were inserted
directly into egg cells from which the nuclei had been removed. This combination
was then activated with electrical shocks. The resulting fused cells divided and
developed into embryos, which were transferred into the wombs of surrogate Angus
cows. On July 31, 1998, the first clone was born, with slightly different markings
than the adult cow. However, the results of a DNA fingerprinting test proved that the
clone and the cloned cow were genetically identical.
December 11, 1998. Japanese scientists published data in the journal Science
reporting the cloning of eight calves from an adult cow’s oviduct and cumulus cells.
The success rate was higher than that of any other group that cloned large mammals.
Ten embryos, derived from differentiated (oviduct and cumulus) cells of one adult
cow, resulted in the birth of eight calves, but four calves died at or soon after birth.
April 26, 1999. An announcement was made that a collaboration of industry and
academic researchers had successfully produced the world’s first transgenic goats
through cloning. The three goats are genetically identical copies of a goat embryo
whose genetic material was modified to produce milk containing the human
anticlotting protein known as antithrombin III (ATIII).
May 27, 1999. A study was published indicating that Dolly, the cloned sheep, may
be susceptible to premature aging. Researchers in Scotland found that 3-year-old
Dolly, who was cloned from a 6-year-old ewe, has cells that appear to be at least 9
June 1, 1999. University of Hawaii researchers reported the first documented
cloning of an adult male animal. Fibrio, a mouse, was cloned from cells clipped from
the tip of a male mouse’s tail. This was a different method than was used to produce
Gene, the bull, who was cloned from fetal stem cells. Up to now, all animals cloned
from adult cells had been female.
June 14, 1999. It was reported that two companies, Geron Corporation (Menlo Park,
CA) and Advanced Cell Therapeutics (Worcester, MA) had started programs to grow
their own embryos (human clones or human-cow hybrids) by cloning. The clones
would be used as sources of embryonic stem cells, which may have potential in the
treatment of a number of human conditions, including Parkinson’s disease and
January 12, 2000. Dr. Gerald Schatten and his colleagues at the Oregon Regional
Primate Center, Beaverton, OR, announced the first successful example of the
cloning of a monkey called Tetra by using a technique called “embryo splitting.”
This technique splits an eight-cell embryo into four identical two-cell clones and then
implants them in surrogate mothers. Clones made from split embryos are genetically
This technique is different than the one used to clone Dolly the sheep, the first clone
of an adult female animal. In that case, the clone was created by taking an adult
animal’s cell nucleus and implanting it in an unfertilized egg cell from which the
original nucleus had been removed.
Some scientists hope that embryo splitting can be used to develop genetically
identical laboratory animals better suited for testing therapies that may eventually be
used to treat humans.
March 5, 2000. Researchers at the Blacksburg, VA, facility of PPL Therapeutics
announced the production of the first cloned pigs — Millie, Christa, Alexis, Carrel,
and Dotcom. The Scotland-based company, which also has a research facility in New
Zealand, is the same firm that cloned the sheep Dolly. Basically, the pigs were
created with the same technique used to create Dolly; but the researchers have not yet
disclosed the “additional inventive steps” they said were used to create the pigs.
Researchers hope that cloned pigs can eventually become a source of organ and cell
transplants for humans.
July 21, 2000. Alexander Kind and his colleagues at PPL Therapeutics, the
Edinburgh-based company that helped create Dolly, announced that they had
successfully cloned Cupid, Diana, and a third unnamed transgenic lamb. The lambs
were the first transgenic livestock to carry specifically chosen modifications in their
The lambs were created using the same method applied for Dolly in 1997. DNA was
taken from another sheep and transferred into unfertilized eggs. This time, however,
the team picked a specific point on one of the sheep’s chromosomes and inserted a
new DNA gene sequence into it. This technique is called “gene targeting” and had
previously only been possible in laboratory mice.
The inserted gene allowed the sheep to produce the human protein alpha 1-antitrypsin
in their milk. This protein may someday be used to treat a variety of lung diseases,
including cystic fibrosis; but the true significance of the feat lies in the wider
application of gene-altering technology. Another potential application of this
technology is the development of animals that could supply organs for human
March 28, 2001. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee
on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on human cloning, entitled Issues
Raised by Human Cloning Research.
April 13, 2001. PPL Therapeutics in Scotland announced the creation of the world’s
first five genetically-modified cloned pigs, a critical milestone towards producing
spare part transplant organs for human patients. Inserted into the genetic make-up
of the five clones was a marker gene, for fluorescence taken from a jellyfish. Tissue
removed from the clones glowed under ultraviolet light, showing that the marker
gene had been successfully integrated into their genetic blueprints.
Dr. Alan Colman of PPL Therapeutics stated that the same technique could allow
scientists to create pigs whose organs would not be rejected by human patients’
immune systems, since pigs have a gene which causes humans to reject their organs.
The birth of the piglets suggested that the gene can be altered.
July 16, 2001. H.R. 2505, Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001, a bill to amend
Title 18 of the United States Code to prohibit human cloning, was introduced. This
bill passed in the House of Representatives by a 256-162 vote (roll call no. 303) on
July 31, 2001. On August 1, 2001, it was received in the Senate, where it received
no further action.
July 31, 2001. H. Amdt. 284 to H.R. 2505, was passed in the House of
Representatives by voice vote. This amendment required the General Accounting
Office to conduct a study to assess any need for the amendment of the prohibition on
human cloning, as defined in Section 301 of Title 18, United States Code, as added
by this Act and to transmit such study to Congress within 4 years.
November 25, 2001. Scientists at Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), a private
company in Worcester, MA, announced that they had cloned the first human
embryos. They said their aim was not to produce cloned human beings, but to create
genetically matched stem cells to treat a wide range of diseases. However, the cloned
embryos that they produced stopped developing after dividing into just a few cells
— not enough to yield medically useful stem cells. ACT used two techniques to
produce human embryos — cloning and a second process called parthenogenesis.
In cloning, the researchers obtained egg cells from seven female volunteers. They
stripped the DNA from 19 egg cells and replaced it with genetic material from
another person of unspecified gender. The new genetic material came from a skin
cell or from ovarian material called a cumulus cell. Seven of the eggs began to
divide and grow. These early embryos were clones, or offspring that carried genes
from only one adult (the person who had donated the skin or cumulus cell). Two
embryos divided into four cells each, and one embryo divided into six cells before
the growth stopped. The growth occurred over a 3-day period.
In parthenogenesis, an egg cell is treated with chemicals that cause it to start dividing
into an embryo without being fertilized by sperm. ACT exposed 22 human eggs to
those chemicals. After 5 days, six eggs had matured into larger masses of cells.
Scientists believe embryos created this way could mature long enough to be useful
in medical treatment but would be unable to grow to term.
Both the cloned and parthenogenetically produced embryos had significant
shortcomings. None developed stem cells, which can grow into any type of body cell
November 28, 2001. President Bush issued Executive Order 13237, establishing the
President’s Council on Bioethics. The Council is to advise the President on
bioethical issues that may emerge as a consequence of advances in biomedical
science and technology.
The executive order establishing the Council may be accessed on the Web at
December 31, 2001. The following legislation to prohibit cloning of humans in
some manner was introduced in 2001 during the first session of the 107th Congress:
H.Res. 214, H.R. 1260, H.R. 1372, H.R. 1608, H.R. 1644, H.R. 2172, H.R. 2608,
H.R. 3495, S. 704, S. 790, S. 1758, and S. 1893. H.R. 2505 with H.Amdt. 284
passed in the House of Representatives (see July 16 and 31, 2001). No floor action
was taken on the other measures.
January 3, 2002. PPL Therapeutics in Scotland, the company that cloned Dolly, the
sheep, announced that it had cloned another five genetically modified pigs — Noel,
Angel, Star, Joy, and Mary. The pigs were born on Christmas Day 2001 at the firm’s
research facility in Blacksburg, VA. As a step toward producing pigs with organs
and cells that could be safely transplanted into humans, the cloned pigs (all female)
had a gene that was inactivated, or “knocked out.” This is the pig gene that attaches
sugar molecules to the surfaces of organs. When organs are transplanted into
humans, the human immune system attaches to those sugars, recognizes the
transplanted organs as foreign, and rejects them. Several other genetic modifications,
including the addition of up to three human genes, would be needed to avoid
rejection of the pig parts. The work was being funded by a $2 million grant from the
National Institute of Standards and Technology.
January 24, 2002. The Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Labor,
Health and Human Services, and Education, held a hearing on human cloning. At
this time, no hearing transcript is available.
January 24, 2002. S. 2893, Human Cloning Ban and Stem Cell Research Protection
Act of 2002, a bill to ban human cloning while protecting stem sell research, was
introduced. This bill was referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and
January 28, 2002. S. 1899, Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001, a bill to amend
Title 18 of the United States Code to prohibit human cloning, was introduced. This
bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
January 30, 2002. Researchers at Advanced Cell Technology in Worcester, MA,
announced that they have used cells derived from cloned cow embryos to grow
functioning kidney-like organs that were not rejected when implanted into adult
cows, marking the first use of cloning technology to grow personalized, geneticallymatched organs for transplantation.
This was the first time that cells taken from a cloned embryo had been used to grow
an organ which, like kidneys, removes toxins from the body and produces urine.
Researchers are still checking to see if it carries out all the functions of a kidney.
For this work to be replicated in humans, the kidney would have to be created by
using cloned human embryos. Cells taken from the human patient would be used to
produce a cloned human embryo genetically identical to the patient. The
experimental procedure would then harvest cells from the embryo to grow the organs
needed for transplant, which theoretically would not be rejected by the patient
because they would be genetically identical. Information on this work has not been
published in a scientific journal, nor has the work been confirmed by others.
February 15, 2002. Researchers at Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine
announced that they had created the first cloned cat, a shorthaired calico named CC
(short for “carbon copy” and “copy cat”). It was cloned with cells from a cat named
Rainbow. Delivered by cesarean section on December 22, 2001, in a university
laboratory, CC was the first household pet to be cloned.
Working first with an adult male cat, the researchers harvested cells from the
animal’s mouth and then fused them with cat donor eggs that had been emptied of
genetic material. This created 82 cloned embryos that were transferred into the
wombs of seven cats. The process yielded only a single fetal clone, and it died in
In a second attempt, researchers used cumulus cells from the ovaries of the female
cat named Rainbow and created five cloned embryos. They were implanted in Allie,
another female cat. This time, an embryo took hold and grew. Sixty-six days later,
The kitten was anything but an exact copy of Rainbow. Although tests indicated that
CC was a genetic duplicate of the cat that donated the original ovary cell, CC’s
markings were quite different from those of Rainbow. Calico markings such as those
possessed by CC are the result of random molecular changes that occur during fetal
Mark Westhusin, the project’s lead scientist, stated, “This is reproduction, not
resurrection.” He warned pet owners that cloning will never return their old pets,
although the clones will probably resemble their predecessors in looks and
The work was funded by Arizona millionaire John Sperling, who gave Texas A&M
about $3.7 million to develop technology to clone his pet dog Missy, an aging border
collie-Siberian husky mix. Although several pregnancies have been achieved by
using cells from Missy, none of the clones have survived to term. Parallel work on
cats went faster, Westhusin said, in part because cat eggs grow and mature in culture
dishes better than dog eggs.
To commercialize the work, 2 years ago, Sperling created a Texas company called
Genetic Savings and Clone, which holds the licensing rights to any proprietary pet
cloning techniques developed by Texas A&M’s “Missyplicity Project.”
March 29, 2002. French researchers reported that they had cloned rabbits by using
genetic materials from adult cells. The four cloned rabbits, all females, were born a
year earlier at the National Institute for Agronomical Research outside Paris. A team
of developmental biologists led by Jean-Paul Renard did not report the achievement
until the animals were mature and in good health. Neither these rabbits nor their
parents (the adult females that provided the genes and eggs from which the cloned
rabbits were made) were given names.
The French team is collaborating with other scientists to try to clone rabbits with the
gene defect responsible for cystic fibrosis in human beings. The gene in the two
species is very similar, Renard said, and the scientists hope cloned rabbits will
provide a better model for studying the disease than other animals.
Robert Lanza, medical director at Advanced Cell Technology, said that since rabbits
reach sexual maturity and breed very quickly, they provide offspring quickly as well,
which is very important in cloning research. In contrast, a cow fetus spends 9 months
in the womb, and it is expensive to produce large numbers of them.
May 15, 2002. The House Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on
Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources held a hearing, entitled
Medical Science and Bioethics: Attack of the Clones.
December 10, 2002. Stanford University announced plans to create a $120 million
institute to study the overlapping biology of cancer and stem cells, including a plan
to start cloning new stem cells from human embryos. An anonymous donor gave $12
million to seed a fund-raising campaign for the new center. The new Institute for
Cancer/StemCell Biology and Medicine will be directed by Dr. Irving Weissman of
Stanford. Researchers at the institute hope to use cloning techniques and stem cells
to make genetically tailored material for transplants and to study the course of disease
in specific types of human cells.
December 27, 2002. Brigitte Boiselier, a former university chemist who is the
director of Clonaid, a company founded by the Raelians (a religious sect that believes
humans are descended from space aliens) claimed that Clonaid had created the
world’s first human clone, a baby named Eve, who is allegedly a genetic carbon copy
of her mother. Boiselier said the baby was born by cesarean section, but did not
specify where the birth took place or identify the parents. No evidence was offered
to back up the claim.
December 31, 2002. The following legislation to prohibit cloning of humans in
some manner was introduced in 2002 during the second session of the 107th
Congress: S. 2893, S. 1899, S. 2076, and S. 2439. No floor action was taken on
these measures, and they died at the end of the 107th Congress.
January 4, 2003. Clonaid announced the birth of a second human cloned baby born
to a Dutch couple on January 3, 2003. No evidence was offered to back up the claim.
January 8, 2003. H.R. 234, Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2003, a bill to
amend Title 18 of the United States Code to prohibit human cloning, was introduced.
H.R. 246, Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and
Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2003, was introduced. Section 510 includes
human clones in its prohibition of funding research using human embryos.
January 29, 2003. S. 245, Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2002, a bill to amend
the Public Health Service Act to prohibit human cloning, was introduced.
February 5, 2003. H.R. 534, Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2003, a bill to
amend Title 18, United States Code to prohibit human cloning, was introduced. On
February 25, 2003, the bill was reported to the Committee on Judiciary, H.Rept. 10818. This bill passed in the House by a 241-155 vote (roll call no. 39) on February 27,
Feburary 5, 2003. S. 303, Human Cloning Ban and Stem Cell Research Protection
Act 2003, a bill to prohibit human cloning and protect stem cell research, was
February 13, 2003. H.R. 801, a bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic
Act with respect to the cloning of humans, and for other purposes, was introduced.
February 14, 2003. The Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland, announced that Dolly
the sheep was euthanized, short of her normal lifespan after being diagnosed with
a progressive lung disease. The decision to end the life of the 6-year-old sheep was
made afer a veterinary examination confirmed the lung disease.
February 25, 2003. H.R. 916, a bill to prohibit the expenditure of federal funds to
conduct or support research on the cloning of humans, and to express the sense of
Congress that other countries should establish substantially equivalent restrictions,
February 26, 2003. H.R. 938, a bill to prohibit federal payments to any individual,
business, institution, or organization that engages in human cloning, was introduced.
February 27, 2003. H.Amdt. 4 to H.R. 534 amendment, as modified, requiring the
General Accounting Office, after consultation with the National Academy of
Sciences, to conduct a study to assess the need (if any) for amendment to the
prohibition on human cloning contained in the bill, was introduced and agreed to by
H.Amdt. 5 to H.R. 534, an amendment in the nature of substitute sought to prohibit
human somatic cell nuclear transfer technology to initiate a pregnancy and allow its
use for medical research, was introduced and failed by recorded vote: 174-231, 1
Present (roll call no. 37).
May 29, 2003. The combined research team led by Gordon Woods and Dirk
Vanderwall of the Northwest Equine Reproduction Laboratory at the University of
Idaho and by Ken White of Utah State University announced the May 4, 2003, birth
of a live cloned mule, the first successful cloning of an equid. Named Idaho Gem,
after the state in which he was born, the foal is a sibling of Taz, a world champion
racing mule. The researchers did not want to clone an adult animal because they
“wanted to take the aging component out of the equation,” said Woods. Some
researchers suspect that the first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep, aged prematurely
because her DNA was derived from an adult cell. So the team rebred Taz’s parents,
took a somatic cell from the 45-day-old fetus, and fused it with an enucleated horse
oocyte that was then implanted into a mare. Idaho Gem, born after a normal 346-day
gestation, is not only the first member of the horse family but also the first sterile
animal to be cloned. Mules, sired by donkeys and borne by horses, cannot reproduce.
June 11, 2003. Two weeks after announcing the birth of the first cloned mule, the
same combined research team announced the June 9, 2003, birth of a second cloned
mule, named Utah Pioneer.
June 26, 2003. S.1356, Department of Health and Human Services Appropriations
Act 2004, Title V, General Provisions, Sec. 510, prohibits the use of funds made
available in this Act for (1) the creation of a human embryo for research purposes;
or (2) research in which a human embryo is destroyed, discarded, or knowingly
subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research on fetuses
in utero under specified federal regulations and the Public Health Service Act.
Defines “human embryo or embryos” to include any organism, not protected as a
human subject under specified federal regulations as of the date of enactment that is
derived by fertilization, parthenogenesis, cloning, or any other means from one or
more human gametes or human diploid cells
August 6, 2003. Italian scientists announced that they had created the first cloned
horse. The horse is an Arabian thoroughbred born in the stables of the Laboratorio
di Tecnologie della Riproduzione at Cremona, Italy, the work of a team led by Cesare
Galli, director. The birth was a double first. Prometea, named after the Greek hero
Prometheus (who stole fire from the gods), was born on May 28, 2003. This was the
first time that a surrogate mother of any species has carried a genetically identical
clone to term, since the Haflinger mare that provided Prometea’s DNA was also her
surrogate mother. The foal was created by inserting the mother’s skin cell into an
egg and stimulating the egg to grow as if it had been fertilized. The scientists started
by removing the DNA from 513 eggs. They got 328 eggs to fuse with skin cells from
adult horses. Of these, 22 embryos developed, and the scientists transferred 17 of the
embryos into the wombs of nine mares, resulting in four pregnancies. The mare that
was implanted with an embryo for which she supplied the genetic material had the
only one of the four pregnancies that succeeded.
August 13, 2003. Chinese researchers led by Huizhen Sheng, a U.S.-trained scientist
now working at the Shanghai Second Medical University, say they have made human
embryonic stem cells by combining skin cells with rabbit eggs. The breakthrough
was published in the Chinese scientific journal Cell Research, a peer-reviewed
bimonthly periodical affiliated with the Shanghai Institute of Cell Biology and the
Chinese Academy of Sciences. The researchers used readily available rabbit eggs.
After removing the eggs’ DNA, the team injected human skin cells inside them. The
manipulated eggs subsequently grew to form embryos containing human genetic
material. After several days, the resulting embryos were dissected to extract their
stem cells, which have the potential to form a wide array of different cell types.
Although just published, the work has been discussed and debated in scientific circles
for more than 18 months. This type of experiment is controversial in the United
States, where scientists question the validity of the findings. According to
researchers familiar with the situation, the Chinese work was reviewed and turned
down by Western journals, such as Science and the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences. If success is confirmed, this type of experiment would
represent the first time that human embryonic stem cells have been generated by
President Clinton established the National Bioethics Advisory Commission
(NBAC) by Executive Order 12975 on October 3, 1995. This executive order is in
the Federal Register, October 5, 1995, p. 52063, and may be accessed at the Web site
Information on the NBAC is at [http://bioethics.georgetown.edu/nbac/]. The
NBAC charter expired on October 3, 2001.
Oregon Regional Primate Research Center
ABS Global, Inc.
Advanced Cell Technology
Northwest Equine Reproduction Laboratory, University of Idaho
Utah State University, Department of Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Science