1062-3604/03/3406- $25.00 © 2003
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology, Vol. 34, No. 6, 2003, p. 402. Translated from Ontogenez, Vol. 34, No. 6, 2003, p. 478.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2003 by Ivanov.
The ﬁrst publication about the now dead sheep
Dolly cloned at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh using
the nucleus of an epithelial cell of the udder from an
adult donor sheep (Wilmut, I.,
, Viable Offspring
Derived from Foetal and Adult Mammalian Cells,
, 1997, vol. 385, pp. 810–813) became the
worldwide sensation both in the scientiﬁc circles and
The scientiﬁc press began (and still continues) all-
round discussion of this, ﬁrst in the history, successful
experiment on production
of a viable animal
from an enucleated cells with incorporated nucleus of
an adult somatic cell. Indeed, this is an epoch-making
scientiﬁc and technological achievement.
Mass media paid the greatest attention to the “epat-
age” side of this story: what if one starts to clone and
replicate people, like the “wooden army” of Urﬁn Juice
from the “Magician of the Emerald City” or recreate the
dead people from the conserved genetic material: chil-
dren, parents, other relatives, Nobel Prize winners, out-
standing ﬁgures, leaders, etc.
Governments, national and international organiza-
tions, including the religious ones, broadcasting, TV,
Internet, etc. became involved in the discussion of the
problem of cloning humans. This steep wave of mass
boom does not decline even now. Therefore the publi-
cation of the book by the Council of Europe dedicated
to the complex discussion of the problem of cloning in
its main aspects: biological, medical, ethical, and
social, should be considered as expedient and actual.
(As an edition of the Council of Europe, the book was
issued in two versions: in English and in French.)
The general high level of the book is accounted for
by the fact that the authors of the essays are well known
specialists, actively involved in research on various
aspects of cloning of mammals, including humans, and
their work was coordinated by the outstanding experi-
mental embryologist and geneticist Ann McLaren. By
the way, the periphrasis of the Hamlet’s dictum, I put as
a title of this review, belongs to Ann McLaren.
The book is opened by the coordinator’s introduc-
tion in the problem. Thereafter, the main aspects of
cloning are successively discussed: what is cloning,
history of cloning, cloning of Dolly, reproductive clon-
ing of humans and its moral aspect, ethical, religious,
and legal estimates of the cloning of animals and
humans, position of the Council of Europe, trends to
overall prohibition of cloning of humans. The conclu-
sion was again written by the coordinator.
In order to facilitate the understanding of texts
replete with special terminology, the book has many
footnotes in marginalia side by side with the main text
and three detailed appendices at the end.
During careful reading of all texts, I have never felt
called upon to reproach any author in imprecision or
tendentiousness. On the contrary all authors, very
knowledgeable in the problem of cloning and adjacent
problems, were perfectly objective and, no less impor-
tant, clear, although they could be buried in specialized
and hardly understandable debris of philosophical, reli-
gious, medical, and other verbal constructions, that
mystify, rather than clarify the problem.
V. I. Ivanov
To Clone or Not to Clone—That Is the Question
A Review of the Book “Cloning,” A. McLaren, Ed., Strasbourg:
Council of Europe, 2002 (Ethical Eye Series)