by Luc De Keyser
Sixty years ago, Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Joshua Lederberg shocked the world with the first serious scientific paper detailing the feasibility of human cloning. Four decades later, a sheep named Dolly — the first large mammal ever cloned — brought his prediction a step closer to becoming a reality. Now the realization of Lederberg’s proposal seems quite plausible, even if the technology needed to artificially produce humans may not emerge for another few decades.
Just as the domestication of crops and livestock triggered a revolution whose impact on society still reverberates today, cloning has the potential to fundamentally alter human culture. But will we learn the lessons of the last revolution quickly enough to apply them before the next one begins?