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Clowns Or Clones Essay Research Paper Clowns

Clowns Or Clones Essay, Research Paper

Clowns or Clones

Cloning is a word heard of only recently within the last 2 or 3 years. Cloning is

said to have proved useful in perfecting genetics among animals as well as humans. While

human cloning is still a little ways off, animal cloning has already begun. Dolly the sheep

was the first to be cloned and then it went on to pigs. Perhaps as we go down this line,

we may someday work our way to cloning humans. Human cloning would only be a real

benefit to our health and could only lead to a prosperous future (Bernan 65). Who is to

say no to a better life?

Imagine a world full of Mini-Hitlers , genetic replicates of Adolf Hitler, seeking

world domination. Picture them starting a second Holocaust on a worldwide scale, killing

millions upon millions of people as a solution to establish a superior race. This scenario

is far-off, but this is the kind of thing people think about when they hear the word

cloning .

Cloning has always been considered science fiction. Millions of people have

enjoyed stories about a someone using cloning technology to conquer the world, probably

because they hadn t expected cloning to become reality. The creation of Dolly, a cloned

sheep, shocked people, including our federal government. The House of Representatives

and the Senate immediately drafted bills to completely ban human cloning. President

Clinton instituted a moratorium on federal funds for human cloning experiments. He also

established the National Bioethics Advisory Commission(NBAC) to address the science

and ethics of human cloning. It immediately published an article entitled Cloning Human

Beings: Report and Recommendations of the NBAC , which basically said human cloning

is morally unacceptable.

Several states have also established restrictions on human cloning; one state has even

banned human cloning. These government actions are irrational and should be immediately

revoked. The federal government should regulate, not ban, human cloning. This is because

significant benefits can result from cloning technology. The ethical implications are also

only temporary. They are induced by misconception. Besides, fanatic biologists are going

to pursue human cloning technology with or without government consent.

It would be beneficial if I begin by briefly explaining the history of cloning and the

processes involved. Dolly was given birth in February 1997. She was created by Ian

Wilmut and his colleagues at Roslin Institute in Scotland. She was created using a

technique called somatic-cell nuclear transfer . This is where a nucleus-omitted ovum is

injected by a nucleus taken from a body cell. A jolt of electricity allows the reconstructed

egg to divide. The egg is then inserted into a uterus to develop. This is the way the first

human clone will mostly likely be made.

Numerous of remarkable benefits can come from cloning technology. One of these

is a treatment for infertility. Infertility is caused by genetic defects, injuries to the

reproductive organs, congenital defects and exposure to toxic substances and radiation.

Many assisted-reproduction technologies have been developed. This includes surrogate

mothers for women without a functional uterus, intracytoplasmic sperm injection for males

who can t produce viable sperm, and IVF for women with blocked or missing fallopian

tubes. However, these treatments have proven to be highly inefficient and they can t help

people whose reproductive organs have not developed or have been removed. Twelve

million Americans are infertile at child bearing age. They will pursue years of painful and

expensive treatments to have little chance of success. Human cloning can offer infertile

people a higher chance of success. Most people are infertile because they can t produce

viable gametes. Cloning technology wouldn t require viable sperm or egg, any body cell

would do. This technology would be able to bypass defective gametes and allow infertile

people to have their own biological children. Cloning technology may even prevent clinical

depression, divorce, and suicide among infertile people (Bernan 62). This is because

infertility often leads to them.

Cloning technology can help perfect gene therapy, the actual correction or

replacement of defective gene sequences. Gene therapy is currently limited because of

inefficient vectors, or viruses that convey new genes into cells. A copy of a defective gene

is in every cell of the body. These viruses must infect everyone of these cells and replace

the defective genes with the normal genes. However, these vectors only infect a frustrating

small amount of cells. This deems gene therapy inefficient. Human cloning can change this.

Scientists can determine which cells recieved the desired gene alteration using fluorescent

tages; the cells that were affected would glow. Cloning technology would allow scientists

to take a cell that had it s genome modified and use it to produce an offspring. The

resulting child and its descendants would carry the corrected gene in every cell. Cloning

technology may be able cure Tay-Sachs disease, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and

Huntington s disease.

Another benefit of human cloning is that it will allow scientists to better

understand cell differentiation. Research on the basic processes of cell differentiation can

lead to dramatic new medical interventions. Cell differentiation is where a stem cell, found

inside embryos during the first two weeks of development, specializes into cells that

perform specific functions. These cells have the potential to develop into any type of cell

in the human body. Biologists do not know which internal/external factors induces a stem

cell to develop into a specialized cell, whether it be a muscle cell or a nerve cell. A better

understanding of cell differentiation will allow biologists to transform stem cell into which

ever cell that he/she desires. Burn and spinal cord injury victims might be provided with

artificially produced replacement tissues. Damage done by degenerative disorders like

diabetes, Parkinson s disease or Alzheimer s disease might be reversed. Biologists might

be able to create organs for transplant using merely a dead skin cell.

Ethical implications involved in human cloning is only temporary. This can be

shown in the development of In Vitro Fertilization(IVF). During the 1960s & 1970s,

opponents of IVF argued that it was unsafe, children would be deformed, American

families would be destroyed or changed, and it was against God s will. These are the same

arguments being used against human cloning. Eighty-five percent of Americans thought

IVF should be outlawed during the 1970s. Public opinion changed when they saw Louie

Brown, the first child born using IVF. People noticed that he was just a child. Their fears

of IVF subsided (Yeast i). It became a routine medical procedure within a few years. This

will most likely be the case with human cloning.

Many of the ethical arguments against human cloning are induced by

misconception. The Mini-Hitler scenario listed above is far-off, but that is exactly the

kind of thing people think about when they hear the word cloning . People think that

cloning technology can produce an exact copy of an existing adult human being. This isn t

true. Cloning technology can only produce a cloned embryo. The embryo must develop in

a uterus. The developed child must experience childhood and adolescence. People think

that a clone will be both behaviorally and physically identical to its donor. This also isn t

true. The clone will probably be identical physically, but not behaviorally. Genes

contribute to the array of our abilities and limits, but our behavior and mentality is

constantly shaped by environmental factors. Even identical twins show differences in

behavioral and mental characteristics(Gasber, 12). Trying to clone a future Adolf Hitler

might instead produce a modestly talented painter.

Ethicists are afraid that a subordinate class of humans will be created as tissue and

organ donors. They are afraid that the rights of these clones will be violated. These fears

are outrageous and ridiculous. These ethicists have been the victims of misconception.

Cloned humans could no more be harvested for their organs than people can be today.

Another ethical dilemma is the psychological well-being of the cloned child. People

wonder what kind of a relationship a cloned child will have with his/her parent that is

physically identical. They are curious of how the child will deal with the pressure of

constantly being compared to an esteemed or beloved person who has already lived

(Gasber 15). We need to remember that the single most important factor affecting the

quality of a child s life is the love and devotion he/she receives from parents, not the

methods our circumstances of the person s birth. Since children produced by cloning will

probably be extremely wanted children, there is no reason to think that with good

counseling support for their parents they will not experience the love and care they


What will life be like for the first generation of cloned children? Being at the center

of scientific and popular attention will not be easy for them. They and their parents will

also have to negotiate the worry-some problems created by genetic identity and

unavoidable expectations. However, there may also be some novel satisfactions. As

cross-generational twins, a cloned child and his/her parent may experience some of the

unique intimacy now shared by sibling twins.

Animal research will eventually indicate that human cloning can be done at no

greater physical risk to the child than IVF posed when it was first introduced. It would be

better if such research would be done openly in the U.S., Canada, Europe or Japan.

Established government agencies could provide careful oversight of the implications of the

studies for human subjects. The most probable way that it will happen will be, if not yet

already, in a clandestine fashion. A couple desperate for a child will put their hopes in the

hands of a researcher seeking fame. Advanced Cell Technologies(ACT) has already

created the first human embryo. They took DNA from a man s leg and injected it into a

cow s egg with its nucleus removed. There has also been reports of similar work in South

Korea (Yeast i). Someone is going to clone a human with or without government

assistance. It would be beneficial if our federal government regulated such experiments,

rather than outlaw them. Outlawing something will not necessarily stop it from happening.

Regulating human cloning will allow our federal government to closely overlook

experiments pertaining to human cloning.

The federal government should regulate human cloning. Banning it would deprieve

many beneficial treatments from people who need it. I have mentioned only a few of

cloning technology s significant benefits. Cloning technology can lead to a better

understanding of cell differentiation. This would allow biologist to produce tissues and

organs for transplant. Cloning can help carriers of genetic defects to have healthy children.

It can even help to completely eradicate genetic mutations and defects. Treatment of

infertility is one of its most promising benefits. Cloning technology can help infertile

people to have their own children, one of life s most powerful biological drives. Besides,

ethical implications involved in human cloning are only temporary. They are induced by

misconception. Education will change people s negative attitude towards human cloning.

If we give human cloning a chance, it will most likely become a part of our daily lives.

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