The Greek word "clone" means "shoot" or "sprout".
Cloning originally means the asexual reproduction of living beings through cell division. This procedure of nature is widespread in unicellular organisms and plants and also occurs in animals. Even in humans, what has been taboo for scientists until now happens again and again naturally: because identical twins, of which there are estimated to be around 100 million on earth, are genetically identical and thus nothing more than cloned beings.
Artificial cloning of humans, however, is forbidden in most states because, according to the current catch, it contradicts the dignity and uniqueness of the human person and could mean an entry into human breeding. However, the UK was the first European country to allow experiments on so-called therapeutic cloning last year. In 1997, the Scottish researcher Ian Wilmut had proved with the cloned sheep Dolly that the cloning of mammals is in principle technically possible. He thus triggered a new debate about genetic engineering and biomedicine. Wilmut had cloned Dolly by fusing an enucleated female egg with an adult body cell. Like Dolly, however, many cloned animals now have serious health problems. Researchers therefore suspect that the cloning process causes damage within cells in higher animal species and humans. In the current discussion on cloning, a distinction is made between therapeutic and reproductive cloning. Reproductive cloning aims to give birth to a human being. Therapeutic cloning, on the other hand, which is now usually referred to as research cloning, means the production of a genetically identical embryo for research purposes. Stem cells are to be taken from the cloned embryo, which in turn will be used to grow human organs and tie. The embryo is destroyed in the process. According to the scientists' ideas, stem cells should be used to cure diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or severe organic damage.