Cloning: Right or Wrong
With the advancement and expansion of technology science has been able to achieve new wonders. These improvements and discoveries in science have allowed the human race to explore and learn more about the world. One such phenomenon is cloning. Cloning has opened the doors to explore human beings in a way that was once never possible. With cloning the human body, as well as other organisms, will be studied. Cloning and genetic engineering will both come into play to improve scientific knowledge, but is cloning beneficial?
Cloning attempts has occurred as early as 1952, and the first successful transfer of embryonic cells occurred in 1970 (1), (5). Ian Wilmut, the scientist famous for the "Dolly" cloning experiment has paved the way for a completely different thought. There were other organisms that were cloned but what made "Dolly" unique was that instead of cells being taken from an embryo "Dolly" was created by using DNA from an adult ewe(3). The process of cloning was discovered to be simpler than what was thought. The first step is to take the cells from the udder of a Finn Dorset ewe and place them in a culture with low concentrations of nutrients causing it to starve and ultimately stop cell division and active genes (3). While this is occurring an unfertilized egg cell is taken from a Blackface ewe with its DNA filled nucleus taken out leaving a nucleus free egg cell that will later produce an embryo (3). Next with the aid of an electric pulse the cells from the udder of a Finn Dorset ewe and the unfertilized egg cell with no nucleus is fused together to begin cell division which will later turn into an embryo which will be placed in the uterus of another Blackface ewe(3). Eventually the Blackface ewe will give birth to a new genetically identical Finn Dorset ewe(3). With the creation of "Dolly" the doors of human cloning has opened the controversy and complications of cloning.
The cloning process is not yet perfected nor one hundred percent accurate, in fact, it took Ian Wilmut more than 277 attempts before the successful creation of a "healthy viable lamb" (1). Furthermore, Ian Wilmut explains that mistakes where made in his procedure and there is uncertainty whether a fetus or adult cell was used in his steps of creating "Dolly" (1). Cloning of humans will be a much more difficult task and a huge risk where a number of things can go wrong causing malformation and diseases in the human body (1). It involved a slightly different process where a somatic cell must be taken from the female. These somatic cells will be harder to work with because they are specialized cells where genes are "turned off" and unable to turn back "on" (1). In addition, the "human clone" will be a "time-delayed identical twin" (1). Because of these complications and imperfections the government has taken action with the proposal of the Cloning Prohibition Act of 1997 by President Bill Clinton (1), (4). With this bill there would be no "implantation of cloned cells into the human (1). President Clinton believes that "any discovery that teaches upon human creation is not simply a matter of scientific inquiry but also a matter of morality and spirituality" (1). In addition to the actions of the President the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) agrees that no human cloning shall take place because at the present time it is not justified to produce a human child by the cloning procedure used to create "Dolly" (1), (4). The NBAC stresses that there is potentially a greater risk with human error as well as having numerous failed attempts before creating a perfect clone (1), (4). They are concerned about the psychological damage and the disappearance of individuality if human cloning became a common practice (1). Both the President and the NBAC find it morally wrong and currently inappropriate to put human cloning into practice.
There are numerous ways where cloning will further aid in scientific development and help the advancement of scientific knowledge of humans. Human cloning can allow rebirth of deceased humans, cure diseases especially those related to genetics, and discover new data and ideas (2). It can prevent endangered species from disappearing as well as allow healthier human beings(2), (5). It will allow doctors to research and determine the cause of spontaneous abortions as well as research rapid cell growth of cancer cells (1). (2). New organs that genetically match the recipient may be produced as well as allow regeneration of nerve tissues and other damaged tissues, and further study in genetics, human body development, and medicine (1). (2). (5). Agricultural and livestock can also be improved where scientist can alter clone organisms with preferable better traits or ideal characteristics (2). All this will allow the people of science to have an in depth research of the human body.
What is the downfall of human cloning? One would be the world lack of genetic diversity (2). The world will become an ideal living environment with "perfect people" that are all genetically alike (2). It may also instigate fraud and bad practice as the Black Market gets involved in selling stolen or defected clones (1). Because cloning is generally a new process and still in it's early stages there would be many uncertainty and risks (1). The procedure may actually cause more deaths in human beings where physical harm can be done to an embryo as well as a child. Because a perfect human being can be created, humans that do not have the desired character traits will not be socially accepted(1), (4).
"Opponents and supporters of human cloning agree that at the current time the technology is not safe enough to use on humans" (1). With the facts given it is evident that human cloning should not be practiced in the near future. Looking at both the advantages and disadvantages you observe that the advantages will further aid development and advancement of science and the disadvantages show that it will greatly affect moral and social issues. Though human cloning will improve the science society and the human race there is a far greater risk involved in cloning humans. Furthermore, with the active involvement of government prohibiting human cloning and the controversy surrounding this issue it is an unjustified procedure to practice. Therefore, unless technology has improved to perfect the cloning procedure as well as an understanding of the moral issues behind human cloning is observed there should be no human clone present in our society.
WWW Sources1)Human Cloning