Children's LiteratureThis book, in the "Open for Debate" series, introduces the concept of cloning with Dolly, the first sheep clone. A colorful glossary of genetic terms helps the reader navigate the scientific material. The issue of animal cloning returns at the end of the book with an examination of the ethical implications of enhancing the food supply, preserving endangered species, and cloning pets. The bulk of the book focuses on human cloning and raises questions about reproductive cloning, therapeutic cloning, and cloning for organ donation. Perl examines proposed bans on human cloning by discussing safety, psychological impacts, religious objections, and societal implications (including an aside about eugenics). She uses layman-friendly terms to explain stem cell therapy and the differences between adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells (and makes the de regeur mention of Christopher Reeve as a stem cell activist). An explanation of The Human Genome Project precedes the information on the uses of gene testing and theoretical genetic enhancement. Perl attempts to ground the issue with facts and figures but ultimately cannot escape the hypothetical and philosophical nature of this debate. Asides include examples of successes and failures in the field, as well as discrete issues for discussion, such as pet cloning, immortality, and clandestine cloning. Cloning is such a fast paced field that this edition already requires addenda, especially for out of date information about disgraced Korean researcher, Woo Suk Hwang. 2006, Benchmark/Marshall Cavendish, Ages 12 up.
L. F. Wade