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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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Bum Rap for Cloning in Norway
10 March 1997 8:00 pm
On Friday, the Norwegian Parliament passed a law banning cloning of humans and other "highly developed organisms." The law, which would have blocked the cloning of Dolly herself, may be the farthest reaching cloning ban now on the books. The measure has alarmed some Norwegian scientists, who say its hasty preparation and passage reflects the country's deep suspicion of biotechnology.
Norway, like other countries, has been abuzz with the ethical implications of cloning ever since Scottish researchers announced last month that they had cloned a sheep. But the report awakened special fears in Norway, says Jon Henrik Laake of the University of Oslo's anatomy department: "Many in the public see genome research as sinister."
Seizing on this unease, a deputy from Norway's Christian People's Party introduced the anticloning bill early last week. In its ensuing news coverage, Oslo's Evening Post could identify just one researcher whose research would be jeopardized: Stig Omholt of the Norwegian Agriculture University, who clones bee embryos. Omholt, not surprisingly, criticized the legislation. Nevertheless, Parliament passed the bill by an 88-to-2 margin, and Norway's Administration now must write regulations to implement it.
Laake and other Norwegian scientists view the cloning law and its lack of input from scientists as another in a series of slights. In addition, he says, the country spends roughly 1.7% of its gross domestic product on science, while neighboring Sweden spends about twice that. Taken together, Laake says, "it just goes to show the low standing of scientists in Norway."