Cloning pertains to various processes which entails the copying of a gene, a cell, a plant, an animal or even a human being. This practice has enabled the biotechnology industry to produce new ways of treating previously incurable diseases such as diabetes and hemophilia (Johnson 1). In referring to humans, human cloning is the method for creating human beings that are genetically indistinguishable. It is the asexual duplication of a living organism or individual or a copy of a DNA sequence produced by genetic engineering (Kanchan et al 125).
Recombinant DNA technology or DNA cloning involves the transfer of the concerned DNA fragment from one organism to another self-replicating genetic element. This procedure has been present since the 1970s and has turned out to be a widespread practice in laboratories nowadays. The first ever animal to be cloned was a tadpole n 1952 while the first mammal be cloned from an adult animal is a sheep named Dolly. After Dolly, researches have focused on cloning a variety of animals such as sheep, goats, pigs, goats, cows, mice, etc. (Cloning Fact Sheet).
Human reproductive cloning is aimed to create a newborn that is genetically similar to another human being. The method associated with this assisted reproductive technology is termed as nuclear transplantation or somatic cell nuclear transfer. At first, the nucleus of an egg cell is removed and replaced by another nucleus of a cell of an adult. The newly reformed egg cell is subjected to stimulants to develop cell division. A successful division allows the cell to be divided several times to generate a blastocyst which is composed of about 150 cells.
An implanted blastocyst can form into a fetus which develops further which then forms into a newborn. Organisms formed via this procedure need not to be exact copies of the adults due to their different prenatal and postnatal atmosphere though they have identical nuclear genes with those of the original adult cells (U. S. Policy-makers and Cloning Fact Sheet). Many people have considered the practice of human cloning. Some people would want to recover people who have passed away, some wanted to improve and enhance the human race by contributing to medical researches and for some, just out of curiosity, they want to give it a try.
Human cloning poses an effective answer to infertility, cell replacements to defective genes as well as for transplants, and other aspects on basic research on human diseases. Human cloning could have been a part of the answer to our innumerous problems worldwide on how to enhance and strengthen the human race but, isn’t tampering human lives too much? Human cloning has always been a loud issue because of its accompanied ill-effects or, for this case, the moral, ethical or social issues that need to be answered by the technology itself. Reproductive cloning is pricey and highly wasteful or unproductive.
Despite the recent advances in technology and new fields, human cloning is considered to be one of the most contentious issues of the present times because of the negative effects it pose. On the physical aspect, above 90% attempts fail to create a feasible offspring. Out of about 100 nuclear transfers only one produces a viable clone. Furthermore, studies have shown that clones are more susceptible to infections, tumor growth and other diseases. Japanese studies on mice have confirmed shorter life expectancy and poor health in cloned mice.
Cloned calves are unusually large and they also die young. With these results there is no helpful data on the aging of clones (Cloning Fact Sheet). To create Dolly, scientists took 277 attempts and 29 implantations. In humans, cloning is expected to be more complicated. Higher deaths even at birth are anticipated while carrying out the experiment. Attempts of animal cloning have produced defaced organisms with serious inborn deformities. Some of these defects surface not until maturity of the cloned organism. Dolly, in its sixth year of survival developed arthritis at an early stage.
After being diagnosed with an incurable lung ailment, Dolly was euthanized. The ship’s death may not be definitely or directly linked to the cloning process but it emphasizes the fact that there are possible health risks associated to reproductive cloning (Kanchan et al). Sometimes, it is interesting to think if the gain outweighs the losses we get from cloning. Unsuccessful cloning procedures in human would result into multiple death and defects caused singly by inaccuracy and miscalculation of human. Emotional factor could participate in the desire of cloning of human beings.
To sight an example, a couple decides to have a clone of the mother as their daughter. Come 20 years and the damage starts to take place when the father looks at her daughter who is an exact copy of his wife. Tendency is that sexual relationship between the father and the daughter may arise. Furthermore, we can not be sure that the daughter does not hold the same feelings like that of her mother towards her father. The question of whether adultery or even incest is committed surfaces since the daughter is the exact copy of her mother and she does not carry the genes of her father.
Consequently, the mother divorces her husband and could possibly abandon her child. When someone is brought back from death, we are not made sure if they still have their previous memories at hand. This results to disappointment on the part of the living who had wished to bring back the dead person back into life again. One more thing, who would want to have a clone of ones’ self as a twin brother or sister by having their mothers impregnated with their own twins? Identity is not saved when this situation comes.
Assurance of having a person with a sound mind as our twin sibling is less since there are no sensible results yet of mature clones. Cloned children may experience a diminished feeling of eccentricity and personal independence. The child may feel different from others being a replica of someone. They may also restrict themselves from being what they want to be knowing that they are already dictated by the direction of their gene donor. The clone’s personality may be devastated by intolerable pressures in attempting to create his own identity.
Mental development and reaction to these stresses are not determined until indicators show up (Kanchan et al 127). Therapeutic Cloning Technology involves the production of human embryos which are basically used for harvesting stem cells. These stem cells are then used in studies related on human development as well as treatment of deases. They are actually taken out from an egg cell at the blastocyst stage and are then used to spawn any specialized type of cell for use in the human body.
The issue on this matter would largely focus on the production of as many egg cell as possible just to carry out this technology. To generate substantial number of eggs needed, women are further subjected to dangers of either higher levels of hormones that stimulate the production of egg cells of by the surgery which entails recovery of egg cells from the uterus. Some cases involve death of clones at late stages or even after birth. In cases of survived clones, birth defects are often expected to surface out.
Females carrying cloned fetuses may also face health risks or even lethal complications related to cloning (U. S. Policy-makers). At the moment animal cloning is somewhat considered for research purposes. Nevertheless, there is no need of starting to clone human beings. It is a serious matter which may, in the future, get out of hand. We ought to limit what science is allowed to do on human beings even if they are possible or even if they bring with them several advantages. Cloning is a form of breaching our individuality as well as our sense of privacy.
Thus, we should not just let human cloning slip out of the way and become part of our future.
Johnson, Judith A. Human Cloning. US: US Congress, 2003 . “U. S. Policy-makers Should Ban Human Reproductive Cloning”. 2007. The National Academies Office of News and Public Information. 26 November 2007 <http://www8. nationalacademies. org/onpinews/newsitem. aspx? RecordID=10285> Kanchan, Tanuj, et al. ”Multifaceted Aspects of Human Cloning. ” JK Science. Vol. 8 No. 3 (2006): 125-128. “Cloning Fact Sheet”. 2006. Human Genome Project Information. 26 November 2007 < www. ornl. gov/hgmis>.