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Questions for National Geographic's "Clone" (2013)

Episode 3 of National Geographic: Science and Weather


Directions: Quickly read the questions before we start the film.  Then go back to the first two and read those more carefully.  I will pause the film so you have a chance to write a careful response to each question, but you may have to take brief notes during the film to get the data you need.  If you finish your response, read the next few questions.  Your goals is to gather information that will help you write an informed intelligent paper.



What were the 1st fears and assumptions people had when it was announced that Dolly, a mammal, had been cloned?




Name the two "entirely different goals" of cloning and the names that describe them.




What percent of Americans will develop a disease that requires treatment with therapeutic cloning?




Name some of the diseases or conditions that might require such therapy?  What was Christopher Reeve's interest in therapeutic cloning?  What about Andrea Gordon?




According to chief geneticist David Ayares of PPL Therapeutics, why is it a good idea to clone so many pigs?  Why have their pigs been genetically modified?




What are some of the health problems that have been seen in cloned animals?


What does Rudolf Jaenisch (MIT, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research) think about the idea of cloning human beings?


What arguments does Panos Zavos of the Kentucky Center for Reproductive Medicine & IVF give for cloning humans?  What motivates Vivian Maxwell?  Do you think there are many people like Maxwell?  Later in the film, they return to Zavos.  What does he say about cloned babies?  Where does he draw the line ethically? 



Are clones identical?  What about human identical twins?  Explain why or why not.




George Annas is a professor of Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights at Boston University's School of Public Health.  What three “disturbing” points about human cloning does George Annas make?  Is he a credible source?  Note Helper



  Now that Andrea Gordon has no option for kidney transplant, what regimen must she follow to keep alive?  What do you think of that quality of life?


  What benefits does Rob Etches of Origen Therapeutics see in cloning poultry? 



Frederick Larcomb stored his dog's genetic material so he could clone it someday in the future.  What motivates him?  Do you think he is misguided or likely to be disappointed?




How is cloning technology being used by reproductive physiologists Betsy Dresser and Philip Damiani at the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans? What kind of cloning are they preparing for? How many endangered species are there?



  George Annas sees a potential negative in Dresser’s and Damiani’s work.  Is it worth the risk?


  Besides the genetically engineered pigs from PPL Genetics, what is another way that cloning and stem cells might help Andrea Gordon and the thousands of others who need a replacement kidney?


  How long does Robert Lanza of Advanced Cell Technology think it will take to grow replacement organs using stem cells? What other project was described and what was its goals?


  What critique of this work does Annas raise?


  Why does Reverend Russell E. Saltzman of Ruskin Heights Lutheran feel therapeutic cloning is a bad idea? How does he describe it?  What point does Lanza make about a “microscopic ball of cells that is smaller than the head of a pin”?


  Alan Atala, a tissue engineer at Children’s Hospital in Boston is emphatic that microscopic embryos created from enucleated eggs injected with the nuclei of a skin cell is not a person. What point does he make about every cell in the body, about washing our hands?


  Which Nobel Prize recipient is not specifically mentioned in this film? Why would it be interesting to know what Reverend Saltzman thinks about his scientific work?