Biology 100W: Clones, Clones, Clones
Spring 2008, Davidson College

Tues-Thurs 8:30-9:45 AM
Chambers 1096
Dr. Karen Hales, Dana 201A
Phone x2324, email kahales

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cloning news and links

Course description: A writing intensive course designed for first year students. The course will cover the scientific principles underlying the cloning of organisms, the possible sociological and medical implications of human cloning if it were to become commonplace, and ethical arguments on all sides of the issue. Students will examine how cloning is portrayed in the visual arts, film, and literature, paying special attention to the relationship between these portrayals and the attitudes toward cloning among the general public. Fulfills the college composition requirement.

Hacker, D. The Bedford Handbook, 7th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006. We will also refer to the Bedford Handbook web site.
Brannigan, M., ed. Ethical Issues in Human Cloning. Seven Bridges Press, 2001
[McGee, G., and Caplan, A., eds. The Human Cloning Debate, 5th ed. Berkeley Hills, 2006.]* as of Jan. 14, I'm aware that this title is no longer available; in class we'll discuss possible solutions.
Pence, G. Who's Afraid of Human Cloning? Rowman & Littlefield, 1998.
Wilhelm, K. Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang. Tor Books. 1998 (orig. pub. 1974).
Web reading as indicated below.

Email: You are responsible for all information I send by email, so check your messages each day.

Attendance and participation: I will record attendance in class. There will be no penalty for the first two unexcused absences, but starting with the third instance there will be a penalty of one +/- increment on your course grade for each unexcused absence. Your participation grade depends on the frequency and quality of your contributions to class discussion.

Honor Code: You are to affirm your respect for and compliance with the Davidson Honor Code on every formal writing assignment by signing your name. Your signature implies the full Honor Pledge, which reads as follows: "On my honor I have neither given nor received unauthorized information regarding this work, I have followed and will continue to observe all regulations regarding it, and I am unaware of any violation of the Honor Code by others." Plagiarism is an Honor Code violation and is defined as representing another person's words and ideas as one's own. Paraphrasing (taking another person's sentences and changing a few words here and there) is NOT equivalent to writing something in your own words, and it is considered plagiarism unless proper citation is made. Please see the Davidson Department of Biology statement on plagiarism for comprehensive information.

Writing assignments and peer reviewing
You will complete several formal writing assignments during the semester. You will also do many in-class informal writings, which will be turned in daily. Formal writing assignments are typed and formatted neatly, and you are expected to conform to accepted standards of grammar, syntax, organization, tone, etc. You will critique each other's first drafts of papers before revising and submitting second drafts for grading.

Office hours: I strongly encourage you to set up individual appointments with me several times during the semester so that we can talk about your writing. It's most efficient to make an appointment in advance; to do so, email me with three possible times that fit your schedule (Wed and Fri afternoons are best), and I'll let you know what time I put on my calendar. Please also feel free to stop by any time my door is open. I have designated Thursday 11:00-12:00 and Friday 11:30-12:15 as official office hours, but I am available at many other times as described above.

Writing Center: You can get also free writing assistance from peer tutors at the Writing Center in Chamber north basement, B039. Starting January 27, the Writing Center is open Sunday through Thursday, 2-4 PM and 8-11 PM. For more information see the Writing Center home page.

Procedure for submitting assignments
All assignments will be submitted as BOTH electronic and hard copies. Deadlines for electronic submission are typically 7 PM the night before class, with a few exceptions; see class schedule below. You are expected to bring hard copies to class the following day.
Assignment submission checklist:
1) Save your Word file as .doc (not .docx) format, and name the file with your last name and the nature of the assignment. Examples: Hales#2.doc, HalesreviewofSmith#4.doc, Halesresearchprospectus.doc.
2) Email the file by 7 PM on the due date. For first drafts, send the file to me and your peer reviewer. For peer critiques, send the file to me and the author of the paper. For final drafts, send the file only to me. For assignments related to the research paper, send the files only to me.
3) Bring one hard copy of the file to class the next day.

Research Paper: The culmination of the semester is a large scale research paper on a cloning-related topic of your choice. The paper should be 2500-3000 words excluding references. You must use at least six sources, of which at least two must be from peer-reviewed journals or compilations, and at least two must be found through library-specific search methods (other than general web search engines like Google) as demonstrated in our library orientation session. You must document in an appendix your means of finding each source for your paper. There are intermediate deadlines for submitting a topic, a progress report, and drafts; see the schedule below.

Grading: Your final grade for the course will be calculated as follows:
Formal writing assignments
Research paper
Daily exercises, informal writings, and peer reviewing
Class participation
50% total (10% each)
(2% for propectus, 3% for progress report, 5% for documentation of revision process, and 15% for final paper)

Final grade

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Class schedule
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Cloning topics and assignments

Do the readings before class. Some articles are found directly from links on the online syllabus. As you are reading each selection or set of selections, write down the main points plus a question that stems from the text(s). Bring your notes to class.

Bedford Handbook topics and assignments

Assignments are listed by section number; read before coming to class and be prepared for in-class exercises on the topic(s).

Formal writing assignments

The link to each peer critique sheet will become active by the day the corresponding first draft is submitted.

Jan 15

Course introduction
Genetics basics (
download powerpoint here)

Overview of the semester


Jan 17

The history and basic science of cloning: from frogs to Dolly the sheep

McGee and Caplan, pp.15-30, within "History and technique of cloning" by P. Wickware

Pence pp. 9-20: chapter 2, "Dolly's Importance and Promise"

What is Cloning? from the Genetic Science Learning Center

Supplementary illustrations and information at The Cloning of Dolly by Dr. Jamie Love and NHGRI fact sheet,

Types of writing
Knowing one's audience
Variations in style and tone
Discipline-specific conventions
Selecting topics

Read sections 1a, 49a-e, 50a

Assignment #1, due Monday January 21st at 7 PM: What were your perceptions of cloning before starting this class? Expand on the paragraph you wrote during class on the first day. What were the sources of your knowledge and opinions (e.g. parents, friends, books, movies, TV)? Give specific examples of your responses to information from these sources. In a more general sense, what underlies your formation of opinions about societal issues? Give other examples. 500-750 words.
Jan 22

Reproductive cloning of animals

Listen to "Act 2: If We Meet Again" in This American Life episode 291: Reunited (And it Feels so Good). Click the orange "full episode" button and when the audio player loads, scroll to minute 29.

Cat cloning offered to pet owners by MaryAnn Mott, National Geographic, March 25, 2004
World's first canine clone is revealed by Rowan Hooper, New Scientist, August 3, 2005

Endangered species
Cloning Noah's Ark by By R. Lanza et al. (Scientific American, 2000)
Endangered species cloned so far: gaur, mouflon sheep, Javan banteng, gray wolf (but validity questioned)

Cloned cows born with human DNA (and can produce human antibodies) by Helen Briggs (BBC, August 12, 2002)
Cloning: Revolution or Evolution in Animal Production? FDA Consumer Magazine, May-June 2003

Evaluating the reliability of sources

Sections 51a-d

Peer review of Assignment #1 due Wednesday January 24th at 7 PM.

Peer critique sheet



Jan 24

Claims of human reproductive cloning (and how would one prove it?)

Richard Seed's intentions and media repercussions (1998)

Saga of Severino Antinori and Panos Zavos: Mar '01, Aug '01, Oct '01, Nov '01, Apr '02, Jul '02, Nov '02, Jan '03, Jan '04, Feb '04

Saga of Raelians and their claims: , Dec '02, Jan 3 '03, Jan 5 '03a, Jan 5 '03b, Jan 6 '03, Jan 8 '03, Jan 12, '03, Jan 18 '03, Jan 29 '03, Mar '03

DNA fingerprinting from

Library orientation

Read sections 50b-g
Come to class with some ideas for research paper topics


Revisions on Assignment #1 due Monday January 28th at 7 PM
Jan 29

Therapeutic cloning and the relationship between cloning and the stem cell debate

McGee and Caplan, pp. 37-44, first part of "The ethics of stem cell therapy" by McGee, Patrizio, Kuhn, and Robertson-Kraft

View CNN's animation Cloning for treatments (aka therapeutic cloning)

Key moments in the stem cell debate NPR, November 20, 2007

Spectacular fraud shakes stem cell field MSNBC, December 23, 2005

Scientists clone first monkey embryos [and derive stem cells] by Alok Jha, The Guardian, November 15, 2007

News items from Jan 21 email:

Documenting sources properly
Different documentation styles

Sections 52a-c, 53a-b, and Davidson Department of Biology statement on plagiarism

Jan 31

Possible alternatives to therapeutic cloning
Adult stem cells? (Reason Online, 2003)
Parthenogenetic stem cells (New Scientist, 2003)
Adult skin cells reprogrammed to behave like stem cells (NPR, 2007)
Stem cells engineered to evade rejection (Science Daily, 2007)

Other new stem cell sources (but not a match to person needing transplant)
Deriving cells without killing embryo (NPR, 2006)
Harvesting cells from amniotic fluid (Scientific American, 2007)

Organizing ideas across a paper and within a paragraph

Sections 4a-e

Assignment #2, due Monday February 4th at 7 PM: In 400 words or less, summarize the article Cloning Noah's Ark by By R. Lanza et al (Scientific American, 2000). Your goal is to convey all the main points in a manner suitable for a high school textbook. Wording, sentence structure, and overall organization should be completely your own.
Feb 5

Overview of ethical arguments

Pence, chapters 8 and 9 pp. 99-147, "Arguments for Allowing Human Asexual Reproduction" and "Arguments against Human Asexual Reproduction. SKIM only, and make a summary chart to bring to class.

Brannigan, pp. 43-66, "The Wisdom of Repugnance" by Leon Kass

Brannigan, pp. 106-114, "What's Wrong with Cloning?" by Richard Dawkins

Sentence basics: subjects and verbs, independent and dependent clauses, fixing sentence fragments

Sections 63a-b, 64a-b, 65a, 19a-d


Peer review of Assignment #2 due Wednesday February 6th at 7 PM.

Peer critique sheet

Feb 7

Ethics of cloning: rights of embryos

McGee and Caplan pp. 44-56, second part of "The ethics of stem cell therapy" by McGee, Patrizio, Kuhn, and Robertson-Kraft

Pence, chapter 7 pp.85-98, "Twinning Human Embryos"

Sentence basics: comma and semi-colon usage in compound and complex sentences (but not in compound verbs)

Sections 20a-d, 32a-b, 33a, 34a-b

Revisions on Assignment #2 due Monday February 11th at 7 PM.
Feb 12

Ethics of cloning: rights of embryos

McGee and Caplan pp. 289-298 "The Ethics and Politics of Small Sacrifices in Stem Cell Research"

Sentence basics: commas in other contexts

Sections 32e

Feb 14

Ethics of cloning: safety
Animals as the test case

McGee and Caplan, pp. 107-125, "Reflections on Dolly: what can animal cloning tell us about the human cloning debate?" by Autumn Fiester

Pence, pp. 131-134, section entitled "Risk of Harm to the Child: I) Mistakes in Genetic Transfer or Fetal Development

Sentence basics: other punctuation and mechanics

Sections 39a,c,e, 41a-b, 44a-c

Research paper prospectus, due Monday February 18th at 7 PM. Included should be a clear topic sentence, a few sentences to explain your interest in this topic, and a preliminary list of at least three sources.
Feb 19

Ethics of cloning: individuality and freedom of clones

Brannigan, pp. 21-33, "The Outcome as Cause: Predestination and Human Cloning" by Leon Eisenberg

Pence, chapter 4 pp. 39-56, "Misconceptions"

Watch the 13-minute segment (link at left center of the page) at NOVA Science NOW's "Epigenetics" to learn about how environment and genes interact to make even contemporary twins diverge.

Sentence basics: pronoun usage

Sections 24a-g, 25a-c

Feb 21

Ethics of cloning: individuality and freedom of clones

Brannigan, pp. 199-203, second part of "Mom, Dad, Clone: Implications for Reproductive Privacy" by Lori Andrew

Pence, pp. 135-140, section entitled "II) Risks of Harm from Unrealistic Parental Expectations"

Sentence clarity: clear pronoun references

Sections 23a-d

Assignment #3, due Monday February 25th at 7 PM: In 750-1250 words, write an argumentative essay describing your views on at what developmental stage an embryo should be considered an individual with rights and therefore whether research on cloning and stem cells should be allowed. Your goal is to sway the opinions of the readers of a newspaper in which your editorial will appear.
Feb 26

Ethics of cloning: reproductive rights

Brannigan, pp. 148-164, "Cloning and Infertility" by Carson Strong

Sentence clarity: active verbs

Sections 8a-c

Activity: introductory sentence derby

Peer review of Assignment #3 due Wednesday February 27th at 7 PM.

Peer critique sheet

Feb 28

Ethics of cloning: reproductive rights

McGee and Caplan, pp.177-191, "Cloning as a Reproductive Right" by John Robertson

Brannigan, pp. 194-199, first part of "Mom, Dad, Clone: Implications for Reproductive Privacy" by Lori Andrews

Sentence clarity: parallelism

Sections 9a-c

Revisions of Assignment #3 due on Monday March 10th at 7 PM.
Mar 4

Mar 6
Mar 11

Religious views of cloning

Religions reveal little consensus on cloning (MSNBC, 1998)

McGee and Caplan, pp. 239-276 (three essays by various authors)

Brannigan, pp. 77-81 and 87-90 (three essays by various authors)

Sentence clarity: avoiding mixed constructions

Sections 11a-c

Research paper progress report, due Friday March 14th at 7 PM. Describe what sources you have read so far, and draft some of the text of your paper based on those sources. 500-750 words.
Mar 13

Religious views of cloning

McGee and Caplan, pp. 277-287 (two essays by various authors)

Brannigan, pp. 82-86 and 91-105 (seven essays by various authors)

Sentence clarity: avoiding misplaced and dangling modifiers

Sections 12a-e

Mar 18

Cloning in art

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm, chapters 1-9

Sentence clarity: consistency in tense, person, mood, voice, etc.

Sections 13a-d

Assignment #4, due Wednesday March 19th at 7 PM: Pick one option, A or B:
A. In 750-1000 words, compare and contrast different views of cloning as a reproductive right. Your goal is to remain impartial and to explain the strengths and weaknesses of each side.
B. In 750-1000 words, compare and contrast how cloning is viewed by adherents of two or three major religious faiths. Provide sufficient background to place opinions of cloning in the wider context of the beliefs within each faith.
Mar 20

Cloning in music

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm, chapters 10-17

Sentence clarity: structuring for emphasis
Paragraph elegance: varying sentence structure and length

Sections 14a-f, 15a-d

Peer review of Assignment #4 due Thursday March 27th at 7 PM.

Peer critique sheet

Mar 25
Mar 27

Cloning in fiction

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm, chapters 17-23

Sentence derby

Revisions on Assignment #4 due Monday March 31st at 7 PM.

Apr 1

Cloning in fiction

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm, chapter 24-end of book

Word choice: eliminating unnecessary words

Sections 16a-d

Assignment #5, due Monday April 7th at 7 PM: Write a 750-1250 word book review of Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm. Your target audience is the readership of a general science magazine. You should cover the merit of the scientific content and the effectiveness of other aspects of the writing. Use direct quotations to support your points. You may NOT read other published reviews of this book while writing your own critique.
Apr 3
NO CLASS-- Dr. H at a conference.

Apr 8

Cloning in film

Read Screening DNA by Steven Nottingham, chapter 3: Know Thyself: Confronting the Clone

Word choice: using appropriate words

Sections 17a-g

Peer review of Assignment #5 due Wednesday April 9th at 7 PM.

Peer critique sheet

Apr 10

Cloning in film

Skim Screening DNA by Steven Nottingham, chapter 1: It Came from the Lab

Word choice: using specific words

Sections 18a-f

Revisions on Assignment #5 due Monday April 14th at 7 PM.
Apr 15

Cloning in film

Skim Screening DNA by Steven Nottingham, chapter 2: Dinosaur Resurrection

Sentence derby  
Apr 17

Cloning in film

Read Screening DNA by Steven Nottingham, chapter 9: Are Movies Impeding the Progress of Biotechnology?

Critical analysis: constructing logical arguments

Sections 47a-f

Apr 22

Cloning, eugenics, and slippery slope arguments

Engineering American Society: the Lesson of Eugenics (PDF file) by D. Micklos and E. Carlson.

Pence, pp. 66-71 and 144-146, sections entitled "Why fear slippery slopes?" and "The slippery slope"

McGee and Caplan, pp. 193-209, "From Regenerative Medicine to Human Design: What are We Really Afraid Of?" by Gregory Stock

Critical analysis: evaluating arguments and identifying logical fallacies

Section 48a

Extra credit opportunity, due Wednesday April 23rd at 7 PM. Maximum 20 pts (2% of grade). Choose one, A or B:
A. It is the year 2030, and human cloning has recently been perfected and accepted as a reproductive choice. Write a short story about any aspect of life as a clone and/or a nucleus donor.
B. Revise the paper on which you received the lowest grade this semester. You must come see me as part of the revision process.

Apr 24

Cloning in the popular media, and effects on politics

Pence, pp. 52-56 (reread)

Brannigan, pp. 128-140, "Bad Copies: How Popular Media Represent Cloning as an Ethical Problem" by Patrick D. Hopkins

Invasion of the Clones by Kerstin Bergman, The Scientist, August 4, 2006 (scroll down if you don't initially see the text)

Critical analysis: evaluating arguments and identifying logical fallacies

Sections 48b-c

Submit a draft of your research paper by Monday April 28th at 7 PM.
Apr 29

Cloning and politics now and into the future

Presidential orders: Aug '01 federal funding ban for new embryonic stem cell lines despite views of senators and scientists

Cloning and stem cell legislation in Congress:
Round 1: Aug '01 House bill
Round 2: Feb '03 House bill, bills proposed but not passed in Senate
Round 3: May '05 House, July '06 Senate, July '06 President's veto, July '06 no override
Round 4: Apr '07 Senate , Jun '07 House, June '07 President's veto

McGee and Caplan, pp.303-306 "Remarks by the President on Human Cloning Legislation" and 313-325 "Playing Defense is not Enough" by Cohen and Kristol

Pence, chapter 10 pp.151-161, "Regulating Human Cloning"

Sentence derby By Friday May 2nd at 7 PM, submit another draft of your research paper showing proofreading changes (using the track changes function) and with your own inserted comments on issues that need attention.
May 1

Wrap up

Course evaluations



Submit final research paper by Monday May 5th at 7 PM.

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