Cloning And The USA Essay, Research Paper
Cloning and the United States Government
On February 24, 1997 Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland announced that scientists had cloned an adult mammal for the first time. These researchers removed a nucleus from a mammary gland of a sheep and implanted the nucleus into a sheep’s egg with the egg’s nucleus already removed. This embryo was then inserted into a surrogate sheep’s uterus. This procedure is called somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning. This process could have a great impact in medical and agricultural applications.
There are many different experimental procedures for cloning. Blastomere separation is the equivalent of chemically induced identical twins. A two- to eight-cell embryo is taken and outer coating removed. The cells are then separated by solution and cultured into an embryo, then inserted into a uterus. Blastocyst division is also known as induced twinning. A blastocyst, an advanced stage of a blastomere, is mechanically split into two separate embryos. Each part can then be implanted into the uterus. Nuclear transplantation is a more generic form of what the Scottish researchers did. Nuclear transplantation uses a blastomere and enucleated egg, egg cell without a nucleus. A nucleus from one of the blastomere cells is transferred to the enucleated egg and then implanted into a uterus. The difference between the Scottish researchers’ method, somatic cell nuclear transfer, and nuclear transplantation is the age of the cell that is to be cloned. The Scottish researchers used a cell from an adult sheep and nuclear transplantation uses a nucleus from a two to eight cell embryo, a blastomere.
Cloning could have many useful potential uses. It could be used to engineer large quantities of genetically identical organisms. This application could help crop yields and produce organs for human transplant. Researchers would like to use this as a tool to see how genes work and how to turn some genes on and others off. Whether a gene is turned off or on determines what function it will have in the body. Another use could be to treat infertility. A use of blastomere separation could detect cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and Tay-Sachs.
There are no current regulations that exist to regulate cloning research like that done in Scotland. The only regulation that limits such research prohibits federal aided research. There are no regulations that extend into the privately funded community. This can be compared to the development of in vitro fertilization and how it developed with out the aid of the federal government. Now, there are more than 400 clinics that practice in vitro fertilization throughout the United States. These clinics operate with no federal aid and little federal supervision. A law passed in 1992, states “?assisted reproductive technology programs comply with certification and pregnancy-success-rates reporting requirements.” However compliance to is this law is voluntary.
This article gives clearly states background information on the current cloning technology. The article is divided into six sections. Each section is clearly labeled to what it is about. From explaining the procedure of the Scottish researcher to giving the success rate of the implanted eggs, the background information has many different facts both in favor of and opposed to cloning. One thing that seems fairly consistent is the author’s desire to continue research to improve its procedures. The next section clearly defines three different techniques for cloning and compares how the researchers from the Roslin Institute and another form of cloning. Yet another section describes possible practical uses for cloning and how they can be accomplished. An off section is President Clinton’s remarks concerning cloning and actions regarding cloning. The author discusses ethical and social issues with no real implication on how the author feels. Regulations and guidelines are the final topic. Even though there are few regulations, the author seems to imply his or her feelings that more regulations are needed in governing this practice.
Though many questions are still unanswered, I feel as President Clinton said, “The recent breakthrough in animal cloning is one that could yield enormous benefits,?” but asked for a voluntary compliance for all research bodies to stop cloning human research until the nation can fully understand the ethical implications. I think many people have not stopped to compare the positive side and the negative. Many people feel strongly one way and with the lack of regulation on a research body, many may feel apprehensive about agreeing with this whole-heartedly. Federal governance over many research techniques could limit the speed at which cloning humans could be achieved, but down time on the physical research could do the same. Therefore, I feel with a gentle government hand looking out for society and privately funded research, more could be achieved.