Cloning Humans Essay Research Paper And the

Cloning Humans Essay, Research Paper

?And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his

nostrilsthe breath of life; and man became a livingsoul . . . and He took one of

his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord

God had taken from man, made He a woman and brought her unto man.? -Genesis

2:7 21-22 Human cloning is becoming one of the most controversial topics of our

time. With recent technological breakthroughs, whole new fields are opening with

amazing possibilities. Despite the great advantages that cloning can offer

humanity, there are just as many negative aspects of the technology, which have

given way to large anti-cloning groups who are gaining ground as to the future

of this awesome power. In truth, cloning could very well be the best, or worst

thing ever to happen to mankind. The possibilities of human cloning are vast

indeed, but research in the area has been dramatically restricted in the United

States and in some other countries. Pro-life groups that oppose free access to

abortion have considerable political power, and were able to have all human

embryo research banned by the Reagan and Bush administrations in most of the

1980?s and the 1990?s (religoustolerance). Although the ban was lifted

during the first days of Bill Clinton?s presidency, in 1997 he sent a bill to

congress marked ?immediate consideration and prompt enactment? stating that

it would be illegal to create a human clone whether in private or public

laboratories. Along with the US ban, nineteen European countries including

Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg,

Moldova, Sweden, Macedonia, and Turkey, signed a protocol that would commit

their countries to ban by law any intervention seeking to create human beings

genetically identical to another human being, whether living or dead. It rules

out any exception to the ban, even in the case of a completely sterile couple.

Britain and Germany however, did not sign this agreement. Germany claims that

the protocol would be weaker than the anti-research laws they already have,

while Britain strongly supports their decision to enforce freedom. French

president Jaques Chirac stated that ?Nothing will be resolved by banning

certain practices in one country if scientists and doctors can simply work them

elsewhere.? Despite all these obstacles, Dr. Richard Seed, a strong supporter

of human cloning, caused uproar when he announced his plans to set up a clinic

to clone human babies for infertile couples (CNN). We may not know the

individual or team who first performed cloning of human embryos, but the methods

used have been understood for many years and actually used to clone embryos of

cattle and sheep. It is likely this has already been successfully used on human

embryos in secret. Robert J. Stillman and his team at the George Washington

Medical Center in Washington D.C. took 17 flawed human embryos, which had been

derived from an ovum that had been fertilized by two sets of sperm resulting in

an extra set of chromosomes, and dooming the ovum’s future. The cells would have

eventually died no matter how they were treated. Stillman?s experiment showed

that the best results could be obtained by interrupting the zygote at the

two-cell stage, separating the cells, and placing them in separate dishes as to

allow them to begin growing again. Many of these pairs were able to develop to

the 32-cell stage, but no further. They might have had the potential to develop

further and even mature into a viable fetus, except the original ovum was

defective and would have died anyway. For ethical reasons, the researchers

selected embryos that had no possibility of ever maturing. The main motive of

the experiment seems to have been to trigger public debate on the ethics of

human cloning (religioustolerance). Dr. Steven Muller headed a panel in the US

whose mandate was to produce preliminary cloning guidelines. These would be used

by the federal National Institute of Health to decide which cloning research to

fund. The panel recommended that studies be limited to the use of embryos that

developed during in vitro fertilization procedures that had been performed to

assist couples in conceiving. Often, extra zygotes are produced that are either

discarded or frozen for possible future use. They further recommended that any

studies be terminated within fourteen days of conception. At that gestational

age, neural cord closure begins; this is the start the development of nervous

system. The scientific community had deemed the actual act of cloning a mammal

impossible, until Dr. Ian Wilmut of the Roslin Institute in Roslin, Scotland

achieved it in July of 1996. The success of his experiment was communicated to

the press on February 23rd 1997. "Dolly", a seven month-old sheep, was

displayed to the media; she was the first large cloned animal using DNA from

another adult. Since Dolly’s conception, the Institute has successfully cloned

seven sheep of three breeds. The technique that they developed can probably be

applied to other domesticated mammals. On December 14 1998, researchers at the

infertility clinic at Kyeonghee University in Korea announced that they had

successfully cloned a human. Scientists Kim Seung-bo and Lee Bo-yeon took an

ovum from a woman, removed its DNA and inserted a somatic cell from the same 30

year old woman into the ovum. Their reports stated: " We were able to

confirm division up to the fourth cell stage, the stage of embryo development

when a test tube embryo is usually placed back in the uterus, where it then

further develops into a fetus." The goal of their research was not to clone

a human, but to clone specific, genetically identical organs for human

transplant. They did not implant the clone into a human uterus because of

ethical considerations. They destroyed it. The Korean Federation for the

Environmental Movement immediately issued a statement criticizing the study.

Members of the Life Safety Ethics Association held protest demonstrations in

front of the University (religioustolerance). Despite popular belief, cloning

has been used since the early 1950?s by farmers to ensure good crops using a

technique in which the nucleus of an egg cell is destroyed, and replace it with

a nucleus from the cell of a higher organism. The egg will then grow into a

genetic copy of the donor organism. While this process can ensure crops

identical to a previous harvest, It will not work on mammals, because of the

tiny size of the eggs (Clone). Possibilities for cloning include such things as

creating children for infertile couples, harvesting genetic copies of organs to

avoid rejection by the immune system in transplants, or even going as far as to

create replacement children for parents who have lost someone in some sort of

accident. Cloning may even hold the key to a cure cancer. The materials to

create a laboratory can easily be purchased in most major countries at a fairly

cheap price. A working cloning facility could be built in a garage with as

little as $10000. In reality there is no way to prevent the cloning of a human

being. It would be better for someone, who is responsible enough to use the

technology intelligently, than for someone to use the secret of cloning to there

own advantage (Kaku). All in all, human cloning could possibly be the most

significant event in human history. Should we take one road to a

totalitarianistic society of genetically engineered clones like Aldous

Huxley?s Brave New World, or a world in which parents can create designer

children with the characteristics of their choice as in the movie ?Gattaca??

The incredible power held within our genes could possibly lead to a perfect

society where peace and happiness reign supreme, or it could very well lead to

the destruction of the human race itself. accessed 4-7-99. ?19 Europeans Nations Sign Ban on

Human Cloning?. Posted January 12, 1998 accessed 4-7-99.

?Clinton Act Draws Line At Human Cloning?. Posted October 23, 1997 Hartl,

Daniel L. ?Clone?. World Book Encyclopedia. 1996. page 685

accessed 9-1-99. ?Human Cloning Foundation?. Kaku, Michiu. ?Visions?.

Anchor Books DoubleDay. New York, London, Toronto, Sydney, Auckland. 1997. accessed 9-13-99. ?Cloning?.


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