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The lab

John Maddox explains the new science behind Dolly and why the ethical dilemmas can wait

By John Maddox   April 1997

The most shocking thing about the cloned sheep Dolly is not the fact of her existence or even that the British Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has withdrawn support for the research that produced her, but that a ministry spokesman declined to comment on this bizarre decision-and got away with silence.

This is yet another galling illustration of how the British government (and Douglas Hogg’s ministry in particular) repeatedly makes a monkey of science. Of course, we all know the theory that protects ministerial secrecy: the government is elected to govern between general elections and need not explain administrative…

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