The relationship of stem cell research to reproductive cloning
Although cloning and stem cell research are often lumped together in the context of ethical debates, the goals and results of the two are very different. The common factor between current attempts at reproductive cloning and stem cell research is a laboratory technique called nuclear transfer. Using nuclear transfer, scientists can create blastocysts containing stem cells that are “clones” of a single adult cell by inserting the genetic material from an adult cell (for example, skin cell) into an egg whose nucleus has been removed. Scientists hope that they could derive stem cells from the cells inside such blastocysts and grow replacement tissues that are genetically matched to specific patients, thus offering patients a safer alternative to traditional transplants.