Cloning: Human/Research/Food Essay, Research Paper
There are many opinions on the topic of cloning, particularly on the controversy of human cloning. Lots of people have many fears over if we should continue this form of study, whereas others think that this technology should be pushed forward with high hopes. However, no side should rule out the other, but instead, should compliment one another. Both arguments should be heard and acknowledged before any decision is made towards this new area of study. For example, many people think that their fears are unanswerable and should cause the absolute ban on cloning.
Although many scientists are in the field of cloning, many other people have scientific reasons why this shouldn’t happen. One reason is that if a human clone were ever successfully made, it wouldn’t be an exact clone anyway; Einstein wasn’t smart solely because of his genes, but the environment that he was surrounded by. However, a positive side to this is that since another exact copy wouldn’t be made, another Hitler could also not be created, as many may fear. In fact, twins are closer to one another that any clone that could be made because of a seemingly special bond created during pregnancy. New techniques are also feared, such as with Dolly.
Another group of reasons concern Dolly. Originally an attempt at creating a sheep that produced a special quality of milk, Dolly was created from a group led by Dr. Ian Wilmut at the Roslin Institute in Scotland on July 5, 1996. They used a different method for mammals than used previously by starving the pre-cloned cells into hibernation, and then using nuclear transfer (copying the nucleus of the cell). Some say that if we continue with cloning, it would be extremely risky, because it is known that it took 277 tries to create Dolly. However, bans have been made to prohibit public uses of cloning. It is also known that Dolly was born with short telomeres.
Telomeres power the successful reproduction and division of cells, and are found in the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) of genes found in chromosomes. When she was tested, it was discovered that her telomeres were shorter than other non-cloned sheep her age. However, scientists say that this mistake could be useful for treatment of cancer. By giving cancer cells in the body short telomeres and putting them back into the body, other cancer cells would be infected, and would die quickly. After Dolly, 5 heifer calves were born, with significantly longer telomeres than other calves that weren’t cloned and of the same age. Another concern with Dolly was that the clone was not entirely from one origin. It is now known that Dolly doesn’t carry the entire DNA structure of her ‘mother’. The clone could have received fetal cells, resulting in mixed DNA from a female and male, which means that Dolly was just the product of an artificial insemination. At this point, many scientists agree that it could have been a mistake, but other clones have been produced that are true clones, such as: October 3, 1997, Honolulu, created a mouse clone from cumulus cells surrounding an embryo named Cumulina, resulting in 50 clones with a success rate of 50:1 by July 1998; cloned monkeys at Oregon, March 1997, with possible success chances with humans; and others that you can find in the news nowadays. Along with these scientific arguments, many people also have moral issues.
Moral issues play a big part in the ongoing battle over cloning. Under some main religions, arguments rise that the creation of life is against the will of ‘God’, and that humans shouldn’t have this power because it’s unnatural, and it shouldn’t be abused. However, some cloning scientists counter that in some religious texts, human is portrayed as a sort of co-creator with the ‘Supreme’. A certain group, led by Rael (formerly known as Claude Vorilhorn and president of “Clonaid”), claim that he was visited by aliens in 1973 who said they created life by cloning their own DNA and genetically changing it. Also, in medicine, doctors give fake hearts or other unnatural feats that give life to people who need it. Some are saying that this is moving too fast, but scientists explain that there are over 60 trillion cells in the human body, each with 30-100,000 genes, which means it’ll be a long time before we can uncover every gene’s use and profile every bit of DNA in one body alone. Some are afraid that if there ever is a breakthrough, humans will be mass-produced, as shown in some science-fiction movies. Yet scientists say that this technology is nowhere near that stage and way of thinking. Particularly, in 1977, Karl Ilmensee tried to pass off a cheated attempt with his “cloned” mice that were later found to be many prepared embryos at different stages. But on top of that, many people think that the further persistence would impose on some human rights.
If a human clone was ever successfully produced, it could have a very difficult time living in this world. For instance, imagine that you are a clone for a few moments. When someone tells you that you are a clone, you could have a variety of expressions. You could feel that you are a fake, that you’re not real, unique, or new. This could result in deep emotional and psychological problems, resulting in depression and possibly suicide, or in psychopathic behavior, with rage and short tempers. However, scientists say that this might not be the case, as identical twins are clones of each other. The millions of twins around the world behave like normal humans, and in fact are not copies of one another because their environment causes them to be different. Media would also become a major part of the clone’s life, like a movie star, perhaps, and the clone could become agitated from this kind of life. However, a clone is not the only group that could have a problem with cloning.
Another concern is for vegetarians, who say that this genetically modified food with cloned meat DNA is inadequately labeled and goes against what they believe in. However, scientists in the field say that, true, meat DNA is there, but it just genes and DNA, not the actual meat, and no animal was ever killed or abused in the process of this type of food. In fact, this modifies the food for better qualities such as taste, texture, growth, color, resistance to weeds and pests, and shelf life, like the ‘FlavrSavr’ tomatoes that were released to supermarkets in 1994. Many other past feats were also done to further the science of cloning.
Scientists across the globe contributed greatly to this point. Gregor Mendel of the mid 1800’s and his study of heredity sparked the entire subject of genetic science. Another great scientist was Hans Dreisch from the late 1800’s. He used the example of splitting a two-celled embryo of a sea urchin in a beaker of salt water to prove his theory: “genetic material is not lost during cell division,” which later led to many different studies. In 1902, Hans Spemman continued Dreisch’s experiment with a two-celled embryo from a salamander, then a 16-celled embryo, from which he thought of a ‘fantastical experiment’ in which adult genes were used in place of newborn embryos. Robert Briggs completed this experiment by transferring the nucleus of a frog cell into an unfertilized frog egg cell in November 1951. In 1980, the first US patent was granted to a living thing with a unicellular creature that digested waste from oil tankers. It was created by genetically altering many different cells, then cloning it many several times. But despite these positive advancements, there are many holes in the science of cloning.
There are many things that cloning can do to help us in the very near future. For example, scientists are currently experimenting with pigs and cloning certain parts of their DNA with human DNA so they can produce organs that humans won’t reject. However, this technique is greatly untested and no one has any idea of the long-term effects of this new kind of organs. Scientists also hope to use the cloning of good cells to help bad cells in the body to adapt. For instance, 60 year-old Myrna Birch left for Cambridge, England on January 25, 1999 to treat her Behest’s Syndrome using the new science of genetic altering. However, there was an experiment done with mice that came from a string of inheritable bad blood. With good human blood DNA, they were fixed of their blood, but the new gene destroyed another gene in the transgenic mice responsible for the positioning of organs, causing upside-down organs in the insides and short life. Scientists also argue that cloning has happened for a long time with plants and unicellular creatures, but are countered with the fact that artificial means have only been used extensively recently. In March, 2001, the famous test-tube baby of ‘Clonaid’ died at 10 months, but provided positive information. A desperate couple with a lost child helped push the company to attempt a clone of their baby, with 50 volunteers to be the surrogate mother and about $677,000 Cdn from the couple. Now with these new artificial means come new ambitions for the future of cloning.
Scientists say that if they ever become successful enough, cloning of an endangered, or even extinct, species can be possible. An example is the mammoth that was found in Antarctic. It could be possible to use the DNA from the mammoth and mix it with the DNA of elephants, and over generations, finally be able to recreate this creature. However, many people have fears that unsuccessful attempts could result in the loss of the females of a species, thus losing any chance of natural reproduction. Also, if this ever were successful, the species would all be immune to same sicknesses, but vulnerable to the same disease, whereas genetic diversity would allow at least some to survive.
There are many fears regarding cloning, but also much anticipation towards it. Cloning should be allowed, and the ban should be lifted. However, certain restrictions must be enforced. Cloning should not happen if it endangers any living being or if it causes loss of respect for the lives of humans and animals. This new technology has the power to do some very serious damage to mankind. On the other hand, the positive possibilities are staggering, and with the correct precautions, cloning will become a very powerful force in the scientific world as you know it.
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