On February 23, 1997, the world learned of the birth of Dolly, the first cloned sheep.
Rarely has the birth of a sheep aroused both fear and hope. On February 23, 1997, Scottish scientists revealed to the world that they had succeeded in cloning a sheep they called Dolly. The news is fueling a lively debate within the scientific community and the public.
“Genetic engineering research has just taken a leap that shakes many certainties. […] ”
— Solveig Miller, 1997
Report by correspondent Don Murray on confirmation of the birth of the cloned sheep Dolly
On February 24, 1997, a report by correspondent Don Murray presented to the Téléjournal confirms that an exceptional animal was born a few months ago thanks to a scientific exploit.
Solveig Miller hosts the Téléjournal that day.
The images show us a sheep. Her name is Dolly. She was born on July 5, 1996.
The animal is the very first mammal to be created from an adult sheep cell without sexual reproduction.
Dolly and the sheep turn out to be absolutely identical.
Until then, cloning an animal was considered impossible.
This success raises hopes for scientific progress at the Roslin Institute of Edinburgh who designed Dolly.
The Scottish team believe cloning sheep will make it easier to study genetic diseases and help find new cures.
For example, scientists would like to use the procedure to increase the production of sheep's milk, which is used in particular in the treatment of cystic fibrosis.
The feat of Dolly is being reproduced all over the world and not just with sheep.
Report by journalist Réal D'Amours who presents the cloned calf Starbuck II.
On September 20, 2000, journalist Réal D'Amours offered us a report on Téléjournal/Le point which presented Starbuck II to us.
The young calf is an exact copy of the famous Starbuck I, whose fertility and qualities for improving the genetics of its descendants are admired all over the world.
“[…] This discovery brings hope for medical research. But it also opens the door to the very real possibility of making an exact copy of a human being. »
— Solveig Miller, 1997
The report by journalist Ghislaine Bouffard presented on February 24, 1997 in Téléjournal reports on a debate that confirmation of Dolly's existence suddenly amplified.
Dolly shatters the impossibility that one day we can clone human beings.
However, many scientists and lawyers see in this eventuality a scenario that is simply not desirable.
Creating twins artificial, that creates serious ethical problems.
Judge Jean-Louis Baudouin, of the Court of Appeal of Quebec, who chaired a research committee on the human embryo, affirms that human cloning must be prohibited.
The lawyer's first reservation is that allowing human cloning opens up an entirely new dimension.
Then, second important reason, continues Judge Baudouin, the human embryo, if it is not yet a complete being, is nevertheless not a “thing” that 'one can manipulate according to one's whims.
The news of Dolly's birth makes governments react.
Report by journalist Sylvie Lépine on the Clinton administration's attempts to pass a law banning human cloning in the United States .
In the United States, as reported in a report by journalist Sylvie Lépine presented on Téléjournal,On June 9, 1997, President Clinton's administration asked Congress to pass a bill that would ban human cloning.
Bernard Derome hosted the Téléjournal that day.
US federal lawmakers disagree and no federal bill directly banning human cloning is passed.
In Canada, also recalls the report by Ghislaine Bouffard, the federal government had in its boxes a bill which would criminalize human cloning and which provided for fines and prison sentences in the event of an infraction.
< p class="e-p">The call of the federal elections of June 2, 1997, however, killed this bill.
It was not until 2004 that the Canadian government passed the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, which prohibits human cloning.
According to United Nations data, approximately thirty countries have laws that prohibit human reproduction by cloning.
On the other hand, the therapeutic cloning of human embryos is often permitted and framed by means of legislation by several countries to meet scientific needs.
Animal cloning also gives hope in innovative areas such as the fight to safeguard biodiversity.
For example, in February 2021, the San Diego Zoo in California witnessed the birth of Elizabeth Anne, a female black-footed ferret.
This species is one of the most endangered in North America.
Elizabeth Anne was born using cells from a dead ferret since 1988.
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