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Sheep cloning scientist to testify before Congress

wilmut March 4, 1997
Web posted at: 7:39 p.m. EST (0039 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- CNN has learned that Dr. Ian Wilmut, the scientist who gained fame for cloning a sheep, will testify before a Senate panel next week.

Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Bill Frist called the hearing in the wake of the sensational cloning experiment in Scotland to discuss the scientific and ethical implications of the work. Wilmut's efforts have raised the issue of human cloning from science fiction to imminent possibility.

Clinton bars federal funds for human cloning research

Frist's hearing follows President Clinton's announcement Tuesday that no federal funds will be spent on human cloning research. In announcing the ban, Clinton said the cloning of humans was a "troubling prospect."

Wilmut will appear before the Public Health and Safety subcommittee on March 12 at 9:30 a.m. EST.

Also testifying at Frist's hearing next week will be the director of the National Institutes of Health, Harold Varmus. Varmus is already on record as opposing human cloning.

According to a spokesman for Frist's office, there was some discussion of bringing "Dolly," the first cloned sheep to the United States, although that seemed unlikely.

Animal cloning proponents tout the process as having many potential benefits, including the development of new drugs and organs for human transplant patients.


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