News that scientists had extracted stem cells from cloned human embryos revived the ethical debate over CLONING HUMANS--a debate TIME explored in 1993, when human embryos were first duplicated.
Once it was out, the news that human embryos had been cloned flew around the world with the speed of sound bites bouncing off satellites ... It was the start of the fiercest scientific debate about medical ethics since the birth of the first test-tube baby 15 years ago. A line had been crossed. A taboo broken. A Brave New World of cookie-cutter humans, baked and bred to order, seemed, if not just around the corner, then just over the horizon. Ethicists called up nightmare visions of baby farming, of clones cannibalized for spare parts. Policymakers pointed to the vacuum in U.S. bioethical leadership. Critics decried the commercialization of fertility technology and protesters took to the streets, calling for an immediate ban on human-embryo cloning. Scientists steeled themselves against the backlash they feared would obstruct a promising field of research--and close off options to the infertile couples the original experiment had intended to serve.
--Time, Nov. 8, 1993