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February 14, 2003

Cloning Pioneer James Robl to Keynote Weissman Center Spring Series

Photo: Jeff Veire /

In 1998 James Robl became the first scientist to clone a transgenic cow (above). He also holds the first patent issued for mammalian somatic cell cloning technology.

Bacteria do it. Yeasts do it. Even some snails, shrimp, and aphids do it. While all these creatures reproduce through cloning, creating an exact replica of themselves, the cloning of more complex species, such as humans, still seems unnatural to many of us. Is it simply a case of getting used to a new technology, the way most of us got used to the idea of “test tube babies” over the past two decades? Or will reproductive cloning of humans ultimately be deemed unethical? Questions such as these about cloning as well as about embryonic stem-cell research—for disease treatment, prevention, and reproduction—will be the focus of a series of events this spring on the theme The Political Embryo: Reconceiving Human Reproduction, presented by the Weissman Center for Leadership. The first event, which takes place Thursday, February 20, at 7:30 pm in Gamble Auditorium, will feature James M. Robl, Ph.D., president and chief scientific officer of Hematech, who will give the keynote lecture, titled “Cloning and Embryonic Stem Cells: Controversy and Reality.” more>

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