Genetic Cloning Essay, Research Paper
Genetic cloning has become an issue in these past years, and many questions have arisen due to this scientific breakthrough. As with any new technology, ethical and moral ideals have clashed between those who support it and those who favor the opposing side. The dispute involves what to do with our ability to clone and manipulate DNA of human beings, plants, and animals, and whether it is ethical for us to pursue research and experiments with genetics or whether it is people just playing “God”. Genetic cloning is a problem because it splits the country and for many of its questionable natures causing people not to trust it. Yes, it is a proven fact that people are scared of what they do not know about, and with genetic cloning, they have a very good reason to be both scared and relieved.
While genetic cloning may have many benefits, it also lends itself to the possibilities of many types of abuses and exploitations. The US law that was enacted by Bill Clinton provides a current policy that makes it illegal to research or carry out the procedure of genetic cloning in the area of human involvement. But then again, why would people take this policy seriously when they can travel by plane and be in Great Britain or Japan in a matter of hours to whom has no such policy? It is too easy for people who have the desire to pursue the cloning research to find ways in which they can continue their experiments as long as they have the money or desire. On the other hand what can occur with the positive side of genetics, which includes research to cure diseases, rejuvenate organs, cells, research the possibility to bring back extinct plants or animals, etc.
Everyone will be affected by the biotech industry whether by means of medical applications, economics, or natural surroundings. In terms of economics, people who are for the promises of genetics feel that the biotech industry will lead the next economic boom, like the Industrial revolution, and the Internet revolution has done in recent history. With the medical applications, this has the greatest scope of all possibilities to reach the most amounts of people. There are virtually an unlimited number of uses and applications many of them steps towards repairing what our very genes or environment has destroyed. For instance, genetics has the possibility to replace or stimulate dead and damaged brain cells helping people with Down syndrome; Alzheimer’s, people of strokes, and many more brain related diseases. This also goes for the rejuvenation of other cells to replace the damaged or missing cells for the nervous system, heart, liver, kidney, stomach, lungs, eyes, and even limbs. All these things could happen and the need for organ donors will be eliminated all together and with that the long waits most people have to endure while an organ is located. With the natural surroundings area, imagine an actual real-life Jurassic Park, or the birth of an animal that went extinct even 60 years ago. A technology that was thought to be science fiction is now a reality, and although no one has been successful yet in bringing back an instinct animal, only time is needed till this breakthrough will occur.
The history of genetic cloning is not very long because this is such a new technology. The idea of bringing back to life animals that have become extinct using genetic engineering was first brought to the public through a Hollywood film Jurassic Park and later to be followed up by The Lost World. Then came a birth of a sheep named Dolly on July 5, 1996, but to be able to conduct continuous research scientist at the Roslin Institute in Scotland decide not to revel their accomplishment till February 23, 1997. September 1997, Clinton asked for the private sector to sign a voluntary moratorium to stop research of human cloning for five years in which 64,000 biologists and scientists signed. January 12, 1998 nineteen European countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Moldova, Norway, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Macedonia and Turkey) signed a ban agreement promising not to pursue the research on cloning for the term of five years so to allow research into the impact, both positive and negative, it could have on the world. The German government felt it did not need to sign the ban because they believed that its current laws, created after World War II and in response to Nazi genetic engineering experiments, were held to be stricter than the signed ban. Britain was the only country to refuse to sign the ban and declared itself “open” to the new cloning technology and research. By the 20th of January 1998, the Food and Drug Administration had made into federal law that without their authority, it is illegal to try somatic cell transfer, which happens to be the same that was method used to clone Dolly. In mid 1998, Teruhiko Wakayama was the first scientist to be successful in creating three generations of genetically identical mice. He was also the first to have a higher success rate of 3 embryos divide out of 100 rather than the previous rate 1 of every 277 embryos.
There are many causes that lead up the ability to genetically clone anything with a genetic make-up of some kind. One reason is the need for human beings to understand ourselves and how we work. Then it is our human nature to continuously pursue the quest for knowledge, and which gives us the ability to conquer our environment. Other reasons include the need for immortality by humans that includes trying to find cures for diseases or ailments thus increasing the life span of people. One last reason could be that the need for humans to make the environment around them better to live in and with. An example of this is people who breed domesticated animals for the best genes, or farmers who cultivate and cross-pollinate for the best crop.
Currently in the US, there is a ban to conduct or research any topic or experiments involving genetic cloning, especially involving humans. The US Food and Drug Administration, who assumed the authority to control all activity, which included or involved genetic manipulation for humans administrated the ban. President Clinton also took preventative steps to stop the research and experiments by preventing federally funded research centers from pursuing experiments and research involving human cloning. Also, he asked for private companies to sign a voluntary moratorium to stop research for five years (1997). Even though for government funded companies are prevented from continuing the research for human cloning, private companies are under no such obligation thus the moratorium useless. Also, the ban is made useless due to the fact that there are many countries surrounding us that do not have such bans (Britain, Japan) thus allowing scientists to travel to these countries to continue their research.
Many people think the US should reconsider the ban placed by President Clinton, and have it modified to fit the needs of the American public. This includes the research and development of human tissues for the use of replacing organs, specialized cells, and nervous systems. Along with this, there is an implied consensus that the government should tightly regulate these experiments. Most of the people who support this position have some type of involvement with a degenerative disease or ailment that stands to be solved with the promises of genetic cloning.
Genetic cloning may, to the public, be a relatively new technology but in reality scientists have been trying to accomplish this feat for hundreds of years. When used the right way and for the right reasons, genetic cloning for plants, animals, and humans can be used for the benefit of all.