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The Salvador E. Luria Papers

Letter from Salvador E. Luria to Frank Press pdf (54,286 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Salvador E. Luria to Frank Press
In this letter to the president of the National Academy of Sciences, Luria expressed his concern about the dangers of human cloning.
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1 (54,286 Bytes)
1983-06-17 (June 17, 1983)
Luria, Salvador E.
Press, Frank
National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)
Original Repository: American Philosophical Society. Library. Salvador Luria Papers
Reproduced with permission of Daniel D. Luria.
Reproduced with permission of the American Philosophical Society.
Exhibit Category:
Politics, Science, and Social Responsibility
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence, 1938-1992
Folder: National Academy of Sciences #2, May 1972-1986
June 17, 1983
Dear Frank:
This letter, following our conversation, is to point out to you the imminent dangers arising from the recent successes in nuclear transplantation into mammalian eggs--in other words, cloning of individuals. The current work on rodents in Basel and at the Wistar in Philadelphia is not yet solid, but I predict the technique will be perfected in 6 to 12 months. From rodents to humans is only one small step.
Fifteen years ago Jim Watson and I, although we were skeptical of dangers from genetic engineering, pointed out that cloning of mammalian eggs, in contrast to the much larger amphibian eggs, was the only foreseeable but major danger. I believe the danger point is now.
The danger is double: to society, which may be exposed to foolish manipulations, and to science itself, because of attacks by well intentioned but confused groups. Already Mr. Rifkin has managed to confuse cloning with genetic engineering so as to condemn both.
May I suggest that the Academy Council consider this situation and take as promptly as possible whatever steps may seem desirable.
Cordially yours,
S. E. Luria, M.D.
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