Will Cloning Have A Positive Or Negative

Effect On Essay, Research Paper

Will Cloning have a Positive OR Negative Effect on

Society ??

The definition of a clone is an organism that has the same genetic information as

another organism or organisms. Scientific and ethical studies of cloning, prove that,

cloning will have a negative rather than a positive effect on society.

The goals and purposes for cloning range from making copies of those who have

died, to bettering the engineering of offspring in humans and animals (Hawley, 1998).

Cloning could also directly offer a means of curing diseases or could offer a technique that

could extend means to acquiring new data for the sciences of embryology and how

organisms develop as a whole over time.

Currently, the agricultural industry demands nuclear transfer to produce better

livestock, and cloning could massively improve the agricultural industry as the technique

of nuclear transfer improves (Hawley, 1998). Nuclear transfer takes the nucleus of a cell

from one individual and places it in the egg or another individual, from which the nucleus

has been removed (Wertz, 1998b). The change in phenotype, the observable physical and

biochemical characteristics of an organism, of livestock is accomplished by bombarding

embryos of livestock with genes that produce “super” livestock traits; however, this

technique is not efficient because only five percent of the offspring express these “super”

traits that would guarntee a more productive industry. Scientists can easily genetically

alter adult cells; therefore, cloning from an adult cell would make it easier to alter the

genetic material. The goal of transgenic livestock1 is to produce livestock with ideal

characteristics for the agricultural industry and to be able to manufacture biological

products such as proteins for humans.

Farmers are attempting to produce transgenic livestock already, but not efficiently,

due to the minimal ability to alter embryos genetically. Researchers can harvest and grow

adult cells in large amounts unlike embryos; scientists can then genetically alter the adult

cells, find which ones transformed, and clone only those cells. Scientists also ponder the

idea of cloning endangered species to increase their population.

The possibilities of cloning are endless, however as suggested by (Hawley, 1998) we are

actually doing much of this research for the improvement of life for humans.

Cloning provides better research capabilities for finding cures to many diseases.

Livestock can produce biological proteins that help people who have diseases including

Diabetes, Parkinson’s, and Cystic Fibrosis. There are also possibilities that nuclear

transfer could provide benefits to those who would like to have children. For example,

couples who are infertile, or have genetic disorders, could use cloning to produce a child.

Equally important, women who are single could have a child using cloning instead of

in-vitro fertilization or artificial insemination. Nuclear transfer could also provide children

who need organ transplants to have a clone born to donate organs (Hawley, 1998). With

all the exceptional possibilities that could improve life, the question still remains, is

cloning virtuous for our society?

Cloning does offer some negative effects to our society. A major problem with the

use of cloning on a large scale is that due to cloning there would be a decline in gene pool,

therefore, causing a decline in genetic diversity. A decline in genetic diversity means that

there are too many genes in a specific species that are the same (Anees, 1995). What

would happen if we lost the ability to clone? We would have to resort to natural

reproduction, causing humans or animals to inbreed, which would result in many other

problems. Inbreeding is conception by relatives such as brother, cousins, etc; causing

DNA abnormalities. If a population of organisms has the same genetic information, then

one disease could wipe out the entire population because no organism would be immune

to the disease. Cloning endangered species will not help the problem of them being

endangered. Zoologists and environmentalists trying to save endangered species are not

having trouble keeping population numbers up. The problem is not having any animals to

breed that are not related in some way. And cloning relatives would only cause the

problem to increase (Hawley, 1998).

The technique of nuclear transfer is in early development stages, therefore, errors

are occurring when scientists carry our the procedure. It took 277 tries to produce

“Dolly”, the sheep cloned in Roslin, Scotland by Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell at the

Roslin Institute (Wertz, 1998a). Roslyn Institute Scientists produced many lambs with

abnormalities before “Dolly” was born. If we tried to clone endangered species, we would

possibly kill the last females integral to the survival of a species. This may be the main

reason science is holding out on human cloning.

Other arguments for cloning include the fact that scientist are taking nature into

their own hands by cloning animals and people. People question when humans will draw

the line for getting involved in natural events. Different religious organizations agree that

cloning is an intrusion to the human body, it is dehumanizing, it deprives a person from

uniqueness, and it disturbs the genetic ecosystem, a community together with its

environment, functioning as a unit (Anees, 1995). Numerous science ethicist say that

cloning does not respect the fact that humans have souls, and that their rights will be

defied because clones are not granted the birth of newness. People also wonder what

mental and emotional problems would result if a clone was to find out that he or she was a

clone (Hawley, 1998).

At this point, cloning should not used in any shape or fashion. Based on the

preceding facts, it is obvious that cloning needs to be perfected before it is used by any

organization or group of people as an everyday way of life. However, if humans are to

venture into cloning all possible precautions must take place. The last thing the world

needs is to move too fast with out proper preparation, and knowledge of cloning and its

effects in entirety. Ultimately, because knowledge is still too limited, cloning will have

more of a negative than positive effect on our society.

Transgenic1: genes transferred from another species or breed

Anees, M.A. (1995, March). Human cloning: an atlantean odyssey?. Eubios Journal of

Asian and International Bioethics. 1 November 1999.


Hawley, A. (1998, March 2). Cloning. 26 September 1999.


Wertz, D.C. (1998a, August). History of cloning. The Gene Letter. 26 September 1999.


Wertz, D.C. (1998b, August). Types of cloning. The Gene Letter. 26 September 1999.



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