July 6, 2022

DROPPING THE WORD “CLONING”

The word “cloning” gives the public bad vibes, say biologists who support cloning of the therapeutic variety. They are trying to substitute the clumsier technical term “somatic cell nuclear transfer”. The word “cloning” would be reserved for attempts to create a human baby and not a human embryo.

And the change works. Kathy Hudson, of the Genetics and Public Policy Center in Washington DC found that while only 29% of people surveyed approved of “cloning”, 46% approved of “SCNT”. But the change doesn’t work altogether as expected. When people were asked whether they approved of creating babies with cloning, only 10% agreed. But when asked about creating babies with SCNT, the approval rating more than doubled, to 26%.